Clitheroe's Peter Taylor Lancashire landscape artist
A Lancashire artist now earns a crust in the old bakery once run by his parents. Roger Borrell reports
Peter Taylor’s life has come full circle. He grew up surrounded by the smell of bread being baked in his parents’ shop and now he’s back in his childhood home. But the tools of his trade are very different.
The Old Bakehouse in Eshton Street, Clitheroe, forms a studio and gallery displaying his oil paintings - works which exude his joy at being able to earn a living doing something he loves.
Ironically, it was a tragic event which set him on the path to this new-found happiness. His wife Linda, also from Clitheroe, died of cancer 15 years ago.
‘I was devastated. It was a case of do something or go mad,’ he recalls. ‘When I was at school I was able to draw and I did a pre-diploma in art but it was an interest which lay dormant for years.
‘So after Linda died I took it up again and it really came on. I gave the odd picture to people and their reaction convinced me that I could make a living from it.’
Peter, 63, specialises in land and seascapes, still life and the occasional portrait. ‘Paintings should be uplifting with a feel-good factor,’ he says. ‘I don’t do brooding pictures full of
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angst, but try to celebrate life with subjects ranging from Pendle Hill to the Lake District, the Ribble Estuary and Cornwall.’
David Blandford-Jupe, who also sells Peter’s work from Blandford Fine Arts in Milnthorpe, adds: ‘Peter paints sea and landscapes with a loose, easy going style. His paintings capture a mood that makes you feel a part of the scene as if looking up from your holiday
novel across beach or moorland. His figures are both relevant and expressive and the quality of light and colour enhances the moment - be it of crashing waves, sunlight sparkling off the sea, or serene sky.’
Peter spent part of his career as a reproduction artist producing work accurate to 1,000th of an inch. It couldn’t be further removed from his current work with dashing brush strokes applied at speed.
There is nothing photographic about these pictures.
His skill resulted in him being featured in the highly-regarded International Artist magazine and this led to him being the only � Englishman selected to join a group
of professional artists from the USA painting Scotland. Their work was later exhibited in Colorado.
Peter’s paintings can cost �1,000 and his work is collected by many art lovers as well as being bought by Lancastrians moving abroad who want a reminder of home.
Peter’s career path has taken many twists and turns over the years. As a young man, he left Clitheroe to live on the Welsh coast seeking relief from asthma which dogged his early life. An early interest in bodybuilding - ‘some people grow well and others, like me, struggle’ - resulted in him inventing and successfully manufacturing hydraulic gym equipment. He also worked as a physiotherapist in St Annes.
Peter, who has a grown up son and daughter living in Blackpool,
says: ‘The asthma made me nervous about leaving the seaside and coming back to Clitheroe but the prospect of earning a living in such a wonderful way in the building where I grew up, was too much to resist. And when my daughter suggested we called
the gallery the Old Bakehouse, it was just perfect.’