ORGAN THING: Life drawing on the telly? What would Peter Prendergast say?



Organ Thing of The Day: Apparently there’s some kind interactive life drawing thing happening tonight on the tellyscreen, life drawing via a flat TV screen or something like that, on the BBC so it seems. Of course my first through was “what would Peter say?”. I haven’t mentioned Peter Prendergast on these pages for quite some time, Peter is unfortunately no longer with us so there in no real news, I do keep hoping that someone will put on a London show, someone will give us a chance to see some of those drawings and paintings in the flesh again, a computer screen or the pages of a book, as welcome as both are, really aren’t enough. I love those paintings of the Welsh mountains, I love the energy of that paint, those marks. Now I had an advantage over most of you, when I was an art student back in North Wales, Peter Prendergast was a (rather tough) tutor, an art teacher, my art teacher, and there are very few days where I don’t here his booming Welsh voice telling me I’m not looking – “Art is about looking! You’re not looking! Art is ninety percent looking, ten percent doing!”. Peter Prendergast is one of my favourite painters, I wish I could go look at his work as much as I go look at Turner paintings in the Tate (I often go to the Tate just to spend half an hour looking at nothing more than one or two Turner paintings, nothing else, don’t walk around the place, jsut one or two paintings then leave again). Peter Prendergast informed so much of my thinking on art, on painting, on looking, about how art was really all about looking, he influenced the way I ran a record label or kept Organ in print, a work ethic, a way of thinking, a way of doing things, a commitment to art, in his case a commitment to the landscape, to the figure, to the self portrait. I can’t honestly tell you how much of my love of his paintings is flavoured by the fact that I was lucky enough to know Peter, to be in a room working next to him, to be able to listen to him talking about art, pulling apart my art (which often did), to be ducking while he violently sharpened his pencils with a Stanley knife, I can’t tell you if I’d love his paintings so much without all that, I’d like to think I would. Those landscapes are so so rich, so full of emotion, so full of the colour of slate, alive with the wind of North Wales, the movement. I do wonder what Peter would make of life drawing via a flat TV screen or for that matter from a photo or anything else that you couldn’t walk around. of course the life drawing thing today is just a flimsy excuse to post something about an artist I really admire. Here’s some links, the official website is still active, Peter’s family post a painting every month via his website and an Instagram account, do go look, all about looking. (sw)

There is a rae chance to see some of Peter’s larger work in the flesh at a gallery called Studio18 in March 2020. Studio 18 is in Bridgend, South Wales

PETER PRENDERGAST - Deiniolen Church

PETER PRENDERGAST – Deiniolen Church


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