Peter Pettegrew has devoted his life to capturing the timeless beauty of the natural landscape on canvas. As a youth, his world was centered around Monterey Bay, California, and it was here that his compelling encounters with the ocean inspired sketches. As early as four years of age, his aunt, who was a painter, recognized his talent and insisted to his mother that he only be given blank paper; no coloring books.
Childhood sketches symbolized the sights and sensations of ocean landscapes, and soon more serious efforts resulted as he turned to painting. By ten years of age, the artist was already studying with one of the older marine painters in the Bay Area. His formal art education began when he applied and qualified for admission to Harbor Senior High in Santa Cruz, California, a prestigious and progressive school dedicated to advancing the development of artistic skills and creative freedom.
After moving to Florida, Pettegrew went on to attend the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, where he studied painting as well as graphic art techniques that he now employs in his work with hand-pulled serigraphs, stone lithographs, and originals. After his formal education, he furthered his schooling in individual mediums through private artist workshops, including oil painting, watercolor techniques and charcoal drawing.
Finding his inspiration through detailed research of the Master Impressionists and plein air painters of the 19th Century, this work revealed the undeniable course for his life, "to honor the face of nature by painting her portrait in so many ways and in so many places." His captivating impressionistic style, using delicate tones, subtle luminous lighting, and savory blends of color, has resulted in distinctive paintings for his collectors.
From childhood, the landscapes have always been the beloved subject for Pettegrew's passionate creations. A naturalist, and outdoorsman, he camps, hikes, and explores, to find his timeless compositions. It is this focus, this need to completely lose himself in the wilderness in order to paint, breathing in the air of dawn and dusk, that nurtures the inspiration he pours onto his canvases. He draws inspiration from his diverse travels. In the last few years he has been to France, the Bahamas, Montana, and California to capture his subject. Most often he is painting in the Southeastern United States. His home and studio are in Orlando, Florida, with another family residence on Marco Island, not far from the Big Cypress Swamp in the Everglades. Mr. Pettegrew states, "Whether I'm painting in the Everglades or in the marshes of South Carolina, these Southern wetlands have a feel and presence like nowhere else I've been. This land is where the spirit within lies very close to the surface. Its beauty abounds and one does not have to struggle to locate its magnificent side."
The huge demand for Pettegrew's work is gratifying for the artist, by providing him the means to give back to the natural world. He acts on his commitment to Promote, Preserve, and Protect the environment through his art. His gallery and museum events, and the ongoing sales of some of his work are venues to channel his support for environmental causes. "I think we all need a greater sensitivity of our natural surroundings and what I fully experience when on location is what I spiritually need to paint. My hope is that this emotion is fully communicated, not just in the traditional sense, but rather a message of the mystery and joy in how nature really feels. Through painting, I share my love of nature with others and hopefully help to preserve her beauty." ~Pettegrew
Museum of the Everglades
The Museum of Natural History at Naples Corporate Collections
Computer Power Inc. – Jacksonville, FL -1986
Edward T. Byrd Co. – Orlando, FL
Florida Steel – Tampa, FL -1985
Hogan Group – Tampa, FL – 1984
Holland & Knight – L.L.P., St. Petersburg, FL – 1996
Larson Juhl – Norcross, GA – 1993
PCSU – St. Petersburg, FL
Pilmanacyclics Company – CA – 1987
The Articulation Group – Tampa, FL- 1994
TECO, People’s Natural Gas Company – Tampa, FL – 1997
The Stuart News – Stuart, FL – 1998
The West Company – Lionville, PA – 1985
Tru-Vue Company – Chicago, IL – 1995
First Union, Naples, FL – 1996
First Union, Coral Gables, FL – 2001 Private Collections
Kelly Craig – Newscaster
Dan Quayle – Former Vice President of the United States
John Rigsby – President, Time Warner
John Travolta – Actor Memberships & Contributions
American Society of Classical Realists Audubon Society
Beaufort Open Land Trust
Conservancy of Southwest Florida
National Parks Foundation Nature Conservancy
National Watercolor Society (N.W.S.)
Oil Painters of America (O.P.A.)
Wekiva Springs Invitational State Park
Habitat For Humanity
Alachua County Land Trust