Peter M. Loftus

“It is the light that invigorates and compels me to paint. I sometimes wonder if light and atmosphere are more vital to our sense of place than the physical character of the land. Conditions of light engender a scene with wholly different color ranges which, in turn, strike different emotional chords, evoking a variety of moods. Faithfully representing the light is at the heart of my paintings. I imagine most people who respond favorably to my work do so because they like its impressionistic qualities. I surely owe a great debt to Impressionism, but I’m also strongly influenced by more recent American painters. Edward Hopper, Fairfield Porter, and Richard Diebenkorn are heroes of mine.

I love the paradox of making an illusion of light, space, and atmosphere out of paint on a flat canvas surface. To make an illusion that looks almost photographic from a distance, but dissolves into mysterious paint surfaces upon close inspection is what I delight in. Seen up close, the surface of my big paintings reveals a final product made up of multiple layers of color that still show through in places. This can offer insights to the decision making process my picture making entails. I juxtapose transparent, translucent, and opaque passages to enhance this effect.”

Landscape painter Peter Loftus was born in Washington, D.C. in 1948. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a student of Neil Welliver. In the late 1970s, he moved to California in search of the ideal light for his plein air watercolor and gouache works, and later, oil paintings. Loftus also began to do more work from photographs. Although his medium changed, he continued painting his landscapes with the techniques he had developed while painting with watercolor. He has participated in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States.

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