Peter Brook

Peter Brook's distinctive snow scenes, deserted farmhouses, derelict mills and lonely valleys are symbols of a vanishing world, well known and loved far beyond his native Yorkshire. But Peter was far more than a regional painter, his sharp, discerning eye; idiosyncratic humour and imaginative empathy enable him to capture the essence of a landscape. He evoked the poetry of the mundane: Ordinary people, ordinary buildings and ordinary animals are given extraordinary impact by brilliant observation and distinctive artistic judgment.

Peter Brook was born in the winter of 1927 in the Pennine village of Scholes near Holmfirth in West Yorkshire. His parents were farmers initially and Peter grew up helping with the haymaking. Both winter and the Pennines would continue to play a large part in this Yorkshire painters life. Peter was educated at Barnsley Grammar School before moving on to teacher training at Goldsmiths College, part of London University, where he visited exhibitions and galleries whilst also attending evening classes in life drawing. After two years in the RAF Peter returned to Yorkshire where he became a teacher in Rastrick near Brighouse. There in Brighouse he found everything he needed to test his skills and start his life in art: its factories, stone built houses, colours, shapes and people. Initially he used thick paints, but this didn't give him the effect he wanted. This came when he began to mix very fine sandstone from a nearby quarry into the paint for the buildings, which gave them more substance and more power and was contrasted with his smooth sky lines which might be made using rags, rollers or his fingers. He never fell out of fashion because he never tried to be in it.


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