Artist Phoebe Twichell Peterson

An example of fine art by Phoebe Twichell Peterson

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The fast-paced and fleeting trends of modern society drive me, as an artist, to slow down and observe the beauty in the ordinary and often overlooked. Inspired by the sea, native flora, memories, and societal perceptions, my works articulate the ephemeral quality of time.
As a child in coastal Massachusetts, my father built me a small rowboat out of a single sheet of plywood. I have since had a fondness for the quirky, anthropomorphic qualities of handmade rowboats. I also have a deep connection to the ocean and our environment. In my paintings, the surface of the water often serves as an analogy for our external existence in modern society - a swirling barrage inundating us with the latest news, social media, and fads. This societal clamor can be exciting but overwhelming, leaving us feeling less connected to our inner-self and that which is real. The ocean serves as a quieting element reconnecting us to our origins and the calm of being immersed in nature.
My painting process is seasonal. Each summer I return to my New England roots for a few weeks to gather inspiration. I sketch, paint on location, and photograph familiar coastal landscapes. Back in my Virginia studio I work from my photographs - cropping and combining images, looking for abstract patterns and graphic compositions. I start my oil paintings with with a tonal grisaille, where I endeavor to solve value issues. Using oil paint on canvas or wood panels, I weave my brushstrokes together - wet into wet - with bristle brushes. To create desired textures, I also use palette knives, cold wax medium, fine pumice, sandpaper, oil pastels and distilled linseed oil. 
Ultimately, I’d like my paintings to bring beauty and an appreciation for the natural world to their viewers.

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