His serious work in the visual arts began in 1996, after retiring from some fifty years in industry.
Though largely self taught, by living in Santa Barbara, California, he has gained from its long tradition with the visual arts and as the home of many famous artists. Today their contemporaries teach locally and have provided him with long term guidance and critique.
Born in 1929, in London, England, as a small boy Peter carried around a notebook to record and sketch is thoughts and ideas. Largely home schooled, this was followed by attendance, during the years of World War II, at a prestigious West London private high school. There he produced his early significant artworks – some award winning poster designs to promote Savings Bonds. Upon graduating, Worsley was drafted into the Royal Air Force. When discharged, he worked in industry while continuing his studies at the London University, graduating in 1953.
In 1956 Peter was recruited to join a small Southern California company. Soon joined by his wife, they lived for some years on the beach in Malibu, California. There, he began acrylic painting. But work pressures prevented much production. In 1968 they moved first to San Diego, then moved again in 1970 to Santa Barbara.
Life As An Artist:
After retirement in 1996, Peter began a new career as a fine artist painter. First he chose to work in watercolor and began an 18-month cycle on art theory, followed by periods of studio studies, critiques, figure drawing, “en plein air,” drawing and painting, which continue through today. Local artists who have contributed to his skill including Cathy Quiel, John Iwerks, Paula Sandefur, Duane Unkefer, Jorgen Hansen, Chris Chapman, Jim Armstrong, Thomas Van Stein, Warner Nienows, and Michael Drury.
While painting with watercolor, Peter gradually began introducing opaque gouache. Finding this media very satisfying, for several years he produced many gouache paintings, mainly on board.
For many years Peter has included people in his paintings. To him, people add life. Landscapes, while often beautiful, somehow seem lacking in reality without people. He frequently depicts human interactions, often with a back story.
His work has evolved where today he paints strongly edited realistic images reflecting the emotions and humor of life's interactions. These are narratives or picture stories, using oil on canvas, are of:
Ordinary People, doing Everyday Things, at Interesting Places.
Often his paintings have a touch of contempory painters such as Hopper, Biberman, Ginsburg, Wyeth, or Arsenaul; with their compelling sense of mood, time, and place describe moments of shared human experience.
Active in the local art community, Peter is a Past President of both the Santa Barbara Art Association and the Goleta Valley Art Association, a Board member of the Santa Barbara Studio Artists, and a former Founder and Director of the Santa Barbara Visual Arts Alliance.
For him, studying art and art history is a never-ending process, with always more to discover and skills to hone. Painting is a continual learning process. Peter is always experimenting - trying new subjects, new methods, and new materials.
To further discuss the painting process and his career in painting contact Peter.
Also , to see what others have written about Peter:
Read some of the many articles Peter has written on his painting techniques for other artists and collectors:
Updated September 2012.