Peter Farmer was born in Cardiff, Wales, and raised in England, Scotland, America, and Canada. Painting isn’t so much what Peter does, it’s what he is. He recognized this at the age of seventeen, decided to devote himself to it, and that was that. Every step from that point on would nourish and cultivate his passion in some way or another. Studies in Anatomy and Physiology at university; professional training in graphic design, advertising and motion graphics; founding a successful upstart design company; opening a venue for music and the arts; part-time work at an artist supply store; traveling the country and the world.

Peter’s work has been decisively independent. As a budding young artist, he didn’t take part in shows, he created them. And was pretty good at it, to boot: His “Wine & Cheese” event, an exhibition-cum-auction, started in his apartment during his studies at Red River College in Winnipeg. His intentions were to move some of the paintings that were cluttering the space in his shared accommodations and satisfy the growing requests for his art among friends and acquaintances. Within a matter of years, the event had outgrown the apartment, moved to swankier digs and attracted a larger crowd, along with local and national press coverage.

His live shows followed a similar trajectory, starting out small-scale in Montreal and expanding to much larger shows in Halifax and Toronto. Often sensational ( "live nudes"), sometimes charitable (cancer fundraisering), Farmer exposed onlookers to the process behind the painting. While in Halifax, he organized shows for multiple artists, in some cases painting separately, in others collaborating on a single work. The events also combined live music with the artistic efforts, and Farmer was able to work with such acts as Team Canada, Skratch Bastid, Kid Koala, and more. These shows also caught the attention of the media, local and national.During his time in Halifax, Peter won the award for Best Visual Artist from Faces magazine in 2010, and earned nominations for EMCA Best Visual Artist in 2011 and Music Nova Scotia Visual Artist of the Year nominations in 2009 and 2010. He was also asked to paint live at the Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala in 2009. These are just some of his laurels, which he in now way rests on. (In fact, he was hard pressed to remember their details; it took some research on my part.)

In fifteen or so years of painting, Peter has proven himself prolific, to say the least. He claims to have done over one thousand paintings. If you think he’s exaggerating (as I did, I admit), bear in mind that the Paragon Collection alone numbers over two hundred.

I’ll leave the opiate discussions of interpretation and so on to others. It’s not really my thing or place to do so. I will say this, however: Peter’s work does not make light of or side-step the concepts of “technique” or “craft”. They are, in fact, core values. There are no efforts to hoodwink, to smoke and mirror. It is, what it is. The body of Peter Farmer's work is a copious record of an artist's development—a "painter's progress", in a sense. It archives the efforts of an individual who is really just getting warmed up.

And on that note, what is really exciting is not what Peter Farmer has done (impressive as his accomplishments may be), but what he will do. Stay tuned …- Jonathan Smith

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