Meet Peter Colquhoun

@ his studio in New York, NY


Tell us about yourself & how you became an artist

Art has interested me from a very young age. I was quiet and observant then as I am now. There was never a sudden decision to become an artist - only a gradual realization that I found myself on this path.

What is your art addressing? What kind of message do you want to convey through your art?

The last thing I want to do is to come to the studio or work outside in the landscape with some pre-conceived notion of what my painting is going to turn out to be. What fun would that be? I prefer to to remain curious and searching for what can be obtained perceptually.

Peter Colquhoun artist

What kind of emotions do you want to stir in your audience?

My audience is diverse and I cannot predict or control what the emotional response will be, but l love the fact that the responses vary according to who is looking in an engaged way with my work. I often find out a lot about my work through the shared responses of others. Sometimes the tables are turned and it is the audience that stirs emotions in me.

What is your creative process?

My work is closely observed - generally on site, and as a tonal painter I am concerned with color-values, a combination of how warm for how cool and how light for how dark that is registered in every mark that I make. These marks or spots are mixed on my palette - in my station point and abstracted from nature and applied to the canvas one next to the other which comprise the basic "building blocks" that read as both form and space. The creative process for me is largely based upon my seeing - both the canvas I'm working on and the subject I am taking up.

Peter Colquhoun artist

3 words to describe yourself as an artist

alive, awake, probative

3 words to describe your art

perceptual, conceptual, abstract

Your go-to music for when you're working?

No music except under rare circumstances, while I am working - otherwise I love many kinds of music such as classical or jazz, reggae or rock, and I adore the blues for instance, as long as the performer or performers is or are up to the task.


Peter Colquhoun

Allen Street

$148 /mo | $3,700 Purchase
Peter Colquhoun

Behind the Studio

$248 /mo | $6,400 Purchase
Peter Colquhoun

Broadway and Thomas Street

$248 /mo | $9,000 Purchase
Peter Colquhoun

Brooklyn Bridge, East River

$348 /mo | $11,000 Purchase

Favorite movie or show?

My tastes are fairly eclectic. The one I happen to be watching.

Favorite color?

Usually the one that is not easily described, such as an un-nameable color that approaches the marvel and mystery of nature.

Peter Colquhoun artist

Do you have a routine or ritual for when you're working?

Best conditions that conform somewhat to my routine are space to back away from subject and my painting and sufficient light (or optimal) to see both subject and work. Making sure that colors are laid out in a certain way on the palette and all other tools are easily accessible. The telephone is on voice mail mode.

Where / When / How do you get inspired?

Inspiration can happen anywhere or anytime as long as I am alive or awake, or in other words, receptive and working. One work oftens leads to another. Ideas most often come to me while working. I have lived most of my life in New York City and it has been the place I have painted most often. The energy of a place and the specificity of the space or spaces to be found there can be inspiring.

Peter Colquhoun artist

“Inspiration can happen anywhere or anytime as long as I am alive or awake, or in other words, receptive and working.”

What makes you happy?

My work - when it goes well.

What impact does living in New York have on you?

Culturally it has had an enormously nurturing impact. Museums and galleries, concerts and theater, and contact with other artists have been formative and helped me to grow. The city is my home as well as my subject. I grew up here and my experiences have no doubt, in some way filtered into what I do as a painter although I cannot put it into words exactly how.

Peter Colquhoun artist

How has your art changed throughout your career?

Growth as an artist can only happen over time. Maturity is not achieved right away. My art has changed just as the city around me has changed. It has informed me through the years that anything or anyone who is alive is not static or frozen in place. I have learned the importance of living with my own work for extended periods. Seeing things in the work that I did not see years previously and sometimes going back into that work to make it better years later.

What do you want people to know about you or your art that we haven't asked?

I go on at greater length on my website and encourage those who wish to learn more to have a look.


Peter Colquhoun

Hudson and Chambers Street

$148 /mo | $5,000 Purchase
Peter Colquhoun

Municipal Building Portico

$348 /mo | $14,750 Purchase
Peter Colquhoun


$148 /mo | $4,000 Purchase
Peter Colquhoun

Still Life with Red Box

$148 /mo | $5,000 Purchase


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