Thursday, December 24, 2009

Biltmore in Winter

Christmas Eve seems like the appropriate day to present this year's special Christmas card image, "Biltmore in Winter." I have created a special holiday design for my annual Christmas cards since 1995. This year I chose to paint a winter scene of Biltmore, the magnificent Vanderbilt estate located just outside of Asheville, North Carolina. This subject was a natural one for this year's card since I recently began a series of paintings using Biltmore as the subject matter. Here's wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

"Biltmore in Winter." Oil on stretched canvas, 24 x 30 inches. Completed November 2009.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

On the Easel: House in the Desert

My latest work depicts an idea that came to me one day while driving along Interstate 95 from North Carolina to Maryland. Along the route were flat cotton fields occasionally populated by a house, either currently lived-in or abandoned. Back in the studio, I took that concept a bit further and combined some of the Victorian architecture I love in Savannah, Georgia with a desert landscape I had photographed while visiting Las Vegas, Nevada last May. This painting is the result.

"House in the Desert." Oil on stretched canvas, 30 x 40 inches. Completed November 2009.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Past Perfect" Exhibit Opening Reception

Last Sunday was the opening reception for my solo exhibit "Past Perfect: Architectural Paintings by Kenneth Eugene Peters" at the Horace Williams House in Chapel Hill, NC. Sponsored by the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill (PSCH), the show will run until December 23.

The reception was a fabulous success, and a truly wonderful day for me. More than 50 friends and family members, some from long-distance, came out to support me. The PSCH staff did an impressive job of hanging the show for me; the installation couldn't have been more appropriate. Before guests started to arrive I was able to capture some of the exhibit space with my digital camera, and those images are seen above. The main exhibit room is a beautiful octagonal space that allows the visitor to see art from several different perspectives at once.

Additional good news came a few days later when I learned that one of the reception guests had purchased "House in Pasadena" in the show. With the Chapel Hill Holiday Home Tours departing from the Horace Williams House this weekend, I am hopeful that - perhaps - I'll enjoy another sale or two before the exhibit comes down.

Finally, I'd be remiss if I did not include a very special thanks to the following people for their hard work and support: Michael Dawson, who provided all of the food and refreshments (incredible job, Mike!); Ann and Mike Rives, who provided vital assistance with the refreshments; Tama Hochbaum, my PSCH artist liaison; Gordon Clarke Jameson, who hung the show; Ernie Dollar and Sherril Koroluk, PSCH staff; my parents, Hilda and Arthur Peters; my friend Tinam Valk; and all of the other great friends and colleagues who attended the reception on December 6 to offer their support.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Preservation Society of Chapel Hill Exhibit Opens this Sunday

My solo exhibition at the Horace Williams House in Chapel Hill, NC will open this coming Sunday, December 6, 2009. The artist's reception runs from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on this date, and the exhibit continues through December 23. Sponsored by the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill, the show will feature eighteen paintings depicting various architectural subjects. I'd like to thank my artist liaison, Tama Hochbaum, and the Assistant to the Director, Sherril Koroluk, for all of their assistance as I prepared for the exhibit.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Horace Williams House Exhibit Preparation

The opening date for my solo exhibition at the Horace Williams House (pictured above) in Chapel Hill, NC is just two weeks away, so much of my time this week will be devoted to preparing for that show. I have selected 17 canvases for display in the exhibit, and will be prepping them (rehanging the wiring, framing and edging) starting this weekend. The invitation postcard was mailed ten days ago to about 200 individuals and organizations. I've received positive feedback from family and friends, so I am hopeful for a nice crowd at the December 6 opening reception (2:00-4:00 pm). The exhibit will remain on view until December 23.

For more information on the Horace Williams House and the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill, visit their web site here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New exhibit opportunity and "Hang It Up!" artist talk

This has been a busy week in the studio. I began a large (30 x 40 inch) canvas last week that is a mixture of reality and imagination. While I'll save further discussion for later, it has started off well.

In addition, I have a new solo exhibit opportunity coming up. Judy Murray, owner of Baja Burrito (a Mexican restaurant in Raleigh), saw my two paintings in the "Hang It Up!" exhibit at the Gregg Museum of Art and Design and offered me a solo show. My work will be on display at Baja Burrito from January 2 - February 12, 2010.

Speaking of "Hang It Up!", today I participated in an artist talk as part of that exhibition. I was invited to join seven other artists featured in the show in a gallery tour. Each of us was given about 10 minutes to discuss our work with the tour group. About 25 folks showed up for the talk, and I really enjoyed the experience. "Hang It Up!" will continue through December 19.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Motel Window

This week I am featuring a canvas I completed in 2006. A somewhat introspective piece, the idea came to me after looking at some very old family photographs. One image showed the view out of a motel window in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina taken during a family vacation. I decided to superimpose a self-portrait on top of the window composition, and this painting was the result. I exhibited this work in the Visual Art Exchange's 2007 show "A Room with a View."

"Motel Window. Oil on stretched canvas, 36 x 28 inches, Completed October 2006.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ruins of the Old Laurel Sanitarium

Halloween seems to be the appropriate day to go back to my older portfolio of paintings and post an image of this canvas, completed in 1991 when I was still living in Maryland. The subject is the remains of the main building on the grounds of the Laurel Sanitarium, an early 20th century mental hospital and farm that once operated in my hometown of Laurel, MD.

When I was young I lived on a street that bounded the sanitarium grounds. In 1964 the entire complex was razed in a controlled burn. My family sat in our front yard and watched as each structure was purposely set on fire. For six years after that day, the ruins stood empty and crumbling, and were easily accessible to me and my friends. My sister and I especially loved to ride our bikes on the old driveways and explore the derelict buildings, making up creepy stories about what might have taken place behind its walls.

In 1970 the grounds were finally bull-dozed over and a large department store and shopping center addition were built on the site. Over the years several apartments and housing complexes were constructed nearby, and today nothing remains that would ever indicate it even existed. This link, however, includes two photos of the sanitarium buildings circa 1910-1914. It was quite a bucolic setting in its heyday.

"Ruins of the Old Laurel Sanitarium." Oil on stretched canvas, 18 x 24 inches. Completed December 1991.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"Hang It Up!" at the Gregg Museum of Art and Design

This past Thursday I attended the opening reception for the exhibit "Hang It Up!" at the Gregg Museum of Art and Design at NC State University (pictured above). As a staff member at the university, I was eligible to enter two works in this group show, which runs until December 21. I chose to include "Fourth and Montgomery" (just returned from the juried show at the Rocky Mount Arts Center) and "Biltmore." The exhibit turned out wonderfully, especially considering the huge variety of media represented. Kudos to the staff of the Gregg Museum for such a great job!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Biltmore, the massive estate in Asheville NC created by George Washington Vanderbilt in the 1890s, has long been one of my favorite destinations. I've traveled to it many times, and each visit amazes and intrigues me. The magnitude of the mansion - America's largest private residence - is humbling, and its location in the Pisgah National Forest (also created by Vanderbilt) is spectacular. While expensive to tour, I feel it is worth every penny.

I have wanted to work on a series of canvases depicting Biltmore for nearly two years. This summer, I began the idea with the canvas seen above, simply entitled "Biltmore." It shows the main house in a severely cropped composition and highly simplified. While I wanted to capture the building's grandeur and immensity, I didn't want to create a sterile portrait. Rather, I hoped to imbue it with a feeling of lost luster and a haunting sense of mystery.

"Biltmore." Oil on stretched canvas, 28 x 34 inches. Completed June 2009.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

August Sunset

This is my most recent work, completed in August. Based on a house in Cumberland, Maryland, much of the composition is actually developed from my imagination. Rather than depict the structure in its original setting, a crowded Victorian neighborhood, I wanted to give it more of a feeling of loneliness and abandonment.

I chose this painting as the front piece on the exhibition postcard for my upcoming solo show at the Horace Williams House in Chapel Hill, NC. The exhibit will run from December 6 to 23 and coincides with the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill's Holiday Home Tour. Hopefully my architectural works will provide an appropriate backdrop to the tour groups that will begin and end at the Society's headquarters.

"August Sunset." Oil on stretched canvas, 24 x 30 inches. Completed August 2009.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

South on Allegany

My sabbatical from painting has continued in September. While I didn't plan this break, I think I must have needed it emotionally and creatively. Although I haven't been working on new pieces, I have continued to stimulate myself artistically.

On September 19 I visited the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University to see the new exhibit "Picasso and the Allure of Language." Picasso, and cubism in general, has never held a strong attraction for me, but this exhibit was interesting in that it explores his relationship with writers (especially Gertrude Stein) and displays lithographs and published illustrations that are not typical of Picasso's main stream body of work.

I also attended an artist's reception for Susan Parrish at the Horace Williams House in Chapel Hill on September 27. This is the same location that will host a solo show of my work in December. Ms. Parrish is a potter and collage artist, and it was very helpful to gain a sneak peak at an opening prior to my own. Today I am going to finalize the invitation for the show in Chapel Hill, and I'll post the final copy in a future post.

The painting above, "South on Allegany," was completed this past spring. It is another in a series of canvases I have produced this year that depict street scenes and structures in Cumberland, Maryland. This work will likely be displayed in my 2010 exhibition at the Raleigh Municipal Building.

"South on Allegany." Oil on stretched canvas, 24 x 30 inches. Completed March 2009.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Short Break from the Studio

I've been taking a few weeks off from active painting to visit family up north and to catch up on some much-needed home and yard projects. Next weekend I'm planning to visit the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University to see the new exhibit "Picasso and the Allure of Language." I'll be sure to post some comments. Stayed tuned...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Commission: "Snow at Sunrise"

This weekend I put the finishing touches on this commissioned work. The painting is loosely based on a photograph provided by the patron. The scene depicts a portion of their country property after a heavy snowfall. In order to make the project a bit more challenging, I decided (with the patron's blessing) to complete the piece in a panorama-styled format using three 20 x 16 inch canvases. Since I knew that the work was going to be placed above an entertainment center in the patron's home, I also thought that this format would work best.

"Snow at Sunrise." Oil on three 20 x 16 inch stretched canvases, total size 20 x 48 inches. Completed August 2009.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Main Street" Update

Here is an update on the large canvas I began a few weeks ago entitled "Main Street" (see August 1, 2009 post). After two more long work sessions, the canvas stands in this current state, still unfinished. In general I am satisfied with its progress, although I have some question regarding the sky and the brick structures in the far left side of the work. I still need to work up the structures along the right side, add highlights and shadows, and then decide any further refinements that might be needed. Comments are always welcome!

"Main Street" (tentative title). Oil on stretched canvas, 36 x 48 inches. In progress; begun July 2009.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dormer Windows

I typically arrange my studio painting sessions so that they allow extended periods of time to work on a piece (usually 6 to 8 hours). However, sometimes I find that I am unexpectedly motivated to paint after hours or when I have a small time frame available. The canvas above is an example. It was completed in less than an hour late one weekday evening, using leftover oils from the past week's pallet. It was also created strictly from imagination, without any specific source material. The idea of attic-level dormer windows just kind of came to me one evening, and I decided to take an old, used canvas and quickly paint an impression of the idea. Here are the results.

"Dormer Windows." Oil on stretched canvas, 8 x 10 inches. Completed January 2009.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

In Progress: "Main Street"

When I originally created this artist blog back in December 2008, it was my intent to post works in progress as well as finished pieces. Unfortunately I haven't been very faithful to that intent, as I have primarily posted canvases after their completion rather than in progress.

Today's post returns to the original intent. I began this large (36 x 48 inch) canvas last week and have allowed it to sit since then as I considered its next metamorphosis. The composition is based on a photograph I took over the Independence Day holiday weekend while visiting my sister and her family in Mount Airy, Maryland. It depicts an intersection of that town's Main Street. I loved the unusual flat-iron shaped building that stands at this intersection, so I quickly snapped a photo of it as we walked to lunch.

Last week, I developed the composition using the original digital photo as a resource. Prior to beginning, I primed the canvas (which I had stretched myself) with an abstract collage of acrylic colors. That is the underpainting one can still see in this stage of the work. I like working on top of a confused color field - I feel that it encourages me to work more loosely. Then, I sketched my composition using a soft brush filled with burnt umber oil paint slightly diluted with painting medium. From there, I began to build up the painted surface.

Because this is a large canvas for me, it will likely take several extended sessions to complete this painting. Once it is finished, I will post the final results.

"Main Street" (tentative title). Oil on stretched canvas, 36 x 48 inches. In progress; begun July 2009.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cary Farmhouse Series: Seventh Post

This work is probably the most unique approach I took in the Cary farmhouse series I completed during 2008. Instead of interpreting the subject on one canvas, I decided to create a panoramic image presented over four smaller canvases, each measuring 9 x 12 inches in size. This produced a final image that measured 12 x 36 inches in size.

I started by sketching out the subject onto the four canvases using a small paintbrush filled with burnt sienna oil paint. Then, I worked on two canvases at a time placed side by side on my easel. I used the same palette throughout the work and completed the painting in one long marathon session (approximately 6 hours). Once dry, I framed the four canvases within one canvas floater frame as a single work.

This painting was one of 20 displayed in my solo show at the Burke Arts Council in May 2009. It was also one of three paintings that sold during the show's run, and now belongs to a private collector in Black Mountain, NC.

"Farmhouse Panorama." Oil on four 12 x 9-inch stretched canvases (total size 12 x 36 inches). Completed August 2008.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shadows at Dusk

Since January I have been working on a series of canvases based on buildings in Cumberland, Maryland. I visited that old railroad city the day after Christmas 2008 and compiled a large photographic archive of structures with my digital camera. That archive has been a source for several paintings since then.

This work, entitled "Shadows at Dusk," is based on two houses I saw on Cumberland's Greene Street. While I relied on my digital images to develop the houses, I improvised the lighting, the color palette and the dramatic sky from both memory and imagination. I used a palette dominated by cadmium orange and cerulean blue, and tried to emphasize the feeling of light at dusk as it washes over the brick facades and creates long shadows and dark recessed areas. This painting is the largest work I've completed in two years, and rests upon a canvas that I stretched myself.

"Shadows at Dusk." Oil on stretched canvas, 36 x 48 inches. Completed January 2009.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cary Farmhouse Series: Sixth Post

This canvas was the sixth completed in my Cary Farmhouse Series from 2008. This work depicts the farmhouse from the southwest, capturing the structure in early morning light. Since I didn't find this perspective as interesting (mainly because the wrap-around porch is not prominently displayed), I tried to emphasize the shadows and lighting effect created by the time of day. This painting was chosen by juror Anna Olivia Sisk for inclusion in the juried exhibition "Landscape and Location" held at the Island Ford Art Gallery in Statesville, NC in Summer 2008.

"Farmhouse in Morning Light." Oil on stretched canvas, 18 x 24 inches. Completed April 2008.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

House in Pasadena

This is yet another "house" painting that I have recently completed. Entitled "House in Pasadena," it is a compilation of images I photographed during my vacation to Southern California in September 2008.

The structure in the painting is based on a home I saw on Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, CA. The house itself was in the middle of a major renovation, and had windows removed and sections of wall under construction. Based on the style, I estimate it was originally constructed in the early 1900s. When I developed the composition for the canvas, I chose to add a background of distant mountain peaks reminiscent of the ones I had seen surrounding the Pasadena area. I also inserted a palm tree in dark silhouette, and improvised the night setting. I spent several sessions working up the lighting in the second-story window and the front porch area, and also creating the right reflections in the darker windows. This canvas was one of twenty that was featured in my solo exhibition at the Burke Arts Council in May of this year.

"House in Pasadena." Oil on stretched canvas, 24 x 30 inches. Completed January 2009.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Another visit to Rocky Mount

I'm taking a break this weekend from painting to play host to my parents for Father's Day. Yesterday we took a road trip out of Raleigh to eastern North Carolina. The first stop was the Rocky Mount Arts Center to see the juried exhibition in which I currently have one painting on display, "Fourth and Montgomery" (seen above). From there, we traveled to Wilson, NC to visit the North Carolina Baseball Museum at Fleming Field. The ballpark was constructed in 1939 as a WPA project, and was recently renovated to include the museum. Afterwards, we enjoyed genuine eastern NC barbecue at Parker's Barbecue in Wilson. It was lip-smackin' good!

Friday, June 12, 2009

House on Washington Street

In early January of this year I began a series of canvases based on houses and streets in Cumberland, Maryland. My parents live in the panhandle of West Virginia, and during my Christmas visit I drove to Cumberland to do my own walking tour of its historic district. I strolled up and down Washington Street, taking photographs and making mental notes on the architecture and atmosphere of this old railroad town.

To date I have completed six paintings based on my visit to Cumberland, this canvas being the first. It depicts one of the many large brick homes built in the late 1880s and '90s when Cumberland was a wealthy industrial center for Western Maryland. Today the city is struggling to hold its own, but - thanks to its relative proximity to Baltimore and Washington - many of its ornate Victorian houses have been restored and are now used as either second residences or B&Bs.

"House on Washington Street." Oil on stretched canvas, 24 x 30 inches. Completed January 2009.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Rocky Mount Arts Center National Juried Exhibition: Juror's Merit Award

Last night I attended the opening reception for the Rocky Mount Art Center's 52nd Annual National Juried Art Exhibition at the Imperial Centre. I was fortunate to be one of 15 artists (out of 283 entries) selected by juror Anne Lemanski for inclusion in the show. My painting, "Fourth and Montgomery" (seen on the left in the above image), was also awarded a Juror's Merit Prize ($100 cash award) by Ms. Lemanski. The exhibit includes artists from across the country and I felt very honored to have been among those chosen for the exhibition. The show continues through September 13, 2009.

The Rocky Mount Arts Center is located in the former Imperial Tobacco Company warehouse and factory in downtown Rocky Mount. It is a phenomenal facility that encompasses over 135,000 square feet of exhibition, performance and museum space. It is definitely a crown jewel for the City of Rocky Mount.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Burke Arts Council Show Closes

My solo exhibition at the Burke Arts Council closed on Friday and I drove up to Morganton, NC today to retrieve the canvases. A total of three paintings sold during the course of the show (out of 20 on display), so I was very pleased with the results. The newly renovated Jailhouse Gallery is wonderful, and I highly recommend a trip to Morganton to see it and the town. Morganton has a thriving cultural arts community and its location in the foothills of western North Carolina is very picturesque. My thanks go out again to Ann DiSanto, executive director for the BAC, for making this experience possible.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Favorite Museums: Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

One of my favorite local museums is the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Located about 30 minutes west of Raleigh, on the Duke University campus, the museum opened in 2005 and has produced some outstanding exhibitions since then.

This year I have visited twice, both times to see a show on the Bloomsbury Group entitled "A Room of Their Own." While the museum's collection concentrates on contemporary art, its exhibition schedule has included shows beyond that range, including a landmark exhibit for our area that featured the art of El Greco. Later this summer the Nasher will feature a Picasso exhibition entitled "Picasso and the Allure of Language.

For more information on the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, visit

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cary Farmhouse Series: Fifth Post

Nine of the 20 paintings I have currently on display in the Burke Arts Council's Jailhouse Gallery are from my 2008 Cary Farmhouse Series. One of them is the painting seen above, "Farmhouse Study at Night." Recently purchased by a Raleigh collector prior to the opening of the exhibit, this canvas will be delivered to its new owner upon its return from Morganton, NC in early June.

Using source images taken at the farmhouse site during the day, I improvised a night scene for this painting in the series. The actual farmhouse is uninhabited, so I had to create the illusion of the porch light using my imagination. I also created the dusk-like sky from memory as well.

"Farmhouse Study at Night." Oil on stretched canvas, 12 x 16 inches. Completed in July 2008.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Leaving Las Vegas

I've just returned home from my first trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. While I expected to find "Sin City" over hyped and empty, I actually enjoyed my time there (and didn't spend a dime inside the casinos). In addition to the attractions along the famous Strip, I took day trip diversions to the Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, and Valley of Fire State Park. Another highlight was visiting the art collection and gallery of fine arts at the Bellaggio. Their current exhibit, on loan from the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, is "Lichtenstein, Warhol & Friends." The exhibit included pieces by those artists as well as Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly and Ed Ruscha.

Upon returning from Las Vegas, I learned that one of my paintings had sold in the Burke Arts Council show. The work, "House on Holly Springs Road," is the same piece featured in the exhibit invitation. Needless to say this was very exciting news, and totally unexpected. My thanks go out again to Ann DiSanto and the Burke Arts Council for their wonderful support of my efforts.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Burke Arts Council Exhibit Opens Tonight

My new solo exhibition, featuring 20 recent paintings, opens tonight (6:30-8:30 PM) at the Burke Arts Council in Morganton, North Carolina. The council's Jailhouse Gallery (so named because it is inside the former Burke County Jail) is located at 115 East Meeting Street. Due to the gallery's distance from Raleigh, and work/personal commitments, I will be unable to attend myself. The exhibit runs until May 29 and is open Tuesdays-Thursdays, 9 AM to 5 PM and Fridays 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Burke Arts Council Show

Yesterday I delivered 20 paintings to the Burke Arts Council in Morganton, North Carolina for the solo show I will have in its Jailhouse Gallery during May. The exhibit will open on Friday, May 8 and run until May 29. The council's executive director, Ann DiSanto, was wonderfully accommodating and supportive, and I want to thank her and the Burke Arts Council for this great opportunity.

Tomorrow I will be delivering the painting "Fourth and Montgomery" to the Rocky Mount (NC) Arts Center for the show I was juried into this summer. Then, it's back inside the studio to begin the next series of canvases.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Jordan Hall Arts Center Exhibit Reception

Many thanks to the family and friends who attended last night's reception at the Jordan Hall Arts Center for my solo exhibition "Structure and Light: Paintings by Kenneth Eugene Peters." It was wonderful to see so many folks come out on what turned out to be a very hot evening in central North Carolina. The exhibit will remain on view until this Thursday, April 30.

On Friday, May 1st I will deliver 20 works to the Burke Arts Council in Morganton, NC for the May solo show I will have in its Jailhouse Gallery. That exhibit will run from May 8 through May 29.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Roanoke Rapids

It's been awhile since I posted any recent work. This painting, entitled "Roanoke Rapids," was completed at the end of 2008. The imagery is a compilation of scenes I photographed during a visit to Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina in February 2008. My destination on that trip was the Roanoke Canal Museum and Trail, a newly-opened historic site that preserves elements of the canal that was constructed in the 19th century to divert river traffic around the falls along the Roanoke River.

I had visited Roanoke Rapids as a young boy living in Maryland during the 1960s, and had a vivid memory of the huge dam upriver from the falls. Much to my pleasure, the canal trail ended at the dam (although security implemented after 911 now prevents visitors from accessing the viewing tower of the dam, as I had done 40 years earlier). The trail itself was a peaceful walk that included a section of crumbling ramparts from the old canal. Unfortunately, the canal museum was closed on this day, so I could only walk around its grounds rather than see the displays.

The two strongest images I left with that day were the billowing smokestacks from the huge paper mill in Roanoke Rapids, and the blocks of aging mill houses with their cyclops-like second story windows. The neighborhood that encompasses these mill houses has fallen into disfavor, and the homes stand today in a variety of conditions; some are even empty and near ruins. I was fascinated with their uniformity and style, and took a series of pictures of them. Then, back in the studio I developed this composition and superimposed the paper mill stacks in the background. While it is strictly a view composed in my mind, I feel it accurately captures the mood of this once-thriving mill town.

"Roanoke Rapids." 20 x 30 inches, oil on stretched canvas. Completed in December 2008.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Exhibition News

I have recently received two new exhibit opportunities:

The Burke Arts Council has offered me a solo exhibit opportunity as part of its gallery re-opening celebration after a major renovation. The exhibit will run from May 9-29, 2009 in the BAC Jailhouse Gallery, 115 Meeting Street, Morganton, NC.

Juror Anne Lemanski selected my painting "Fourth and Montgomery" for inclusion in the Rocky Mount Art Center's 52nd National Multi-Media Juried Art Exhibition. The exhibit will run May 23-September 13, 2009 at the Rocky Mount Arts Center, 270 Gay Street, Rocky Mount NC.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Edge of Night

This painting was the largest canvas I completed during the 2007 series of works based on my living room. Entitled "Edge of Night," I again depicted the large bay window that stretches more than eight feet along the southern wall of the room. I chose to depict it at night, relying on interior lighting this time instead of flooding sunlight. I especially enjoyed the multiple reflections created in the window by the hat-box lamp behind the figure. This painting is among the nine currently on display in my show at the Jordan Hall Arts Center.

"Edge of Night." 24 x 36 inches, oil on canvas. Completed January 2007.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Structure & Light" Exhibit Opens at the Jordan Hall Arts Center

Last night I hung my new solo exhibition, "Structure and Light: Paintings by Kenneth Eugene Peters," in the Jordan Hall Arts Center Gallery. The show will run until April 30, 2009 and it includes nine works, all in oil. The Jordan Hall Arts Center is located at 908 North Harrison Avenue, Cary NC 27512. It is open Monday-Friday, 9 AM to 10 PM and Saturdays 9 AM to 4 PM. For more information on Jordan Hall, visit

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Winter's Light

Continuing the theme of last week's post, here is another in the short series of canvases I produced in 2007 that featured my living room and its huge bay window. I consider this work to be a sketch rather than a polished piece. I did not labor over it for more than a few hours and I don't consider it to be exhibition-worthy. Nevertheless, I was very pleased with the shadow effect created by the muntins in the bay window and the light that accented the green chair in the left-hand portion of the painting.

"Winter's Light." 16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas. Completed in June 2007.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sunlight on a Pink Sofa

Periodically I will use the interior of my home as a source for new work. In 2007 I did a short series of small paintings depicting the large bay window in my living room and the lighting effect that is created by sunlight streaming through it. This canvas is one of those works.

The sofa seen in the painting is a large Hollywood-style sectional sofa that I purchased at an antique shop in Raleigh. At the time it was dilapidated and covered in a badly stained yellow-and-green oriental-themed fabric. However, the bones of the sofa were solid and a reupholstery job was all that was needed to bring it back to life.

The bay window is the most prominent architectural detail on the front of my house. It opens to a southern exposure, and the shadows created by the ever-present sunlight form intriguing shapes throughout the day. Another canvas produced in this series, "House at Dusk," shows the window in the evening when the street lights outside produce eerie shadows that create an almost menacing atmosphere within the room.

This painting will be featured in my solo exhibition "Structure and Light" which will be on display in the Jordan Hall Arts Center, Cary NC from March 31 to April 30, 2009.

"Sunlight on a Pink Sofa." Oil on stretched canvas, 14 x 11 inches. Completed in January 2007.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Chateau Marmont

Since returning from a vacation to California last September, I've completed two versions of the famed Sunset Strip hotel, the Chateau Marmont. The Marmont was located just a few blocks east of my host hotel along the Strip, so I walked by it frequently while visiting Hollywood. Its towering, fortress-like facade fascinated me every time I strolled by, and I took many photographs of it.

Opening in 1929, the hotel has hosted Hollywood royalty from its inception. It was a favorite hideaway for Greta Garbo, and Jean Harlow honeymooned at the Marmont. Perhaps its most infamous story surrounds "Saturday Night Live" actor-comedian John Belushi, who was found dead from a drug overdose in one of the Marmont's guest bungalows in 1982.

When I returned home from my trip, I decided to complete a small study of the hotel based on some of the photos I took while in California. The painting above was the result. I wanted to capture the hotel's mystery and allure in this canvas, so I chose a dark night scene. The complex sits high above Sunset Boulevard, and is especially intriguing at night. Having completed the small study, I decided to do a much larger version (30" x 24") a few weeks later. Unfortunately, the second work doesn't capture the Marmont's unique atmosphere as well as the small study did, and feels heavy and stilted. I will likely paint over that version at some point, but the small study is a personal favorite of mine.

For more information on the Chateau Marmont, visit or

"Chateau Marmont Study." Oil on stretched canvas, 11 x 14 inches. Completed in October 2008.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Song of the Hurricane

This week I am featuring another figurative work on the blog. Entitled "Song of the Hurricane," the painting depicts a scene developed from my imagination, but also inspired by music.

While listening to the Rodney Crowell album "The Houston Kid" one day, the idea for this composition came to me during his rendition of the song "Telephone Road." I let the idea ruminate for several months before beginning the canvas. Using myself as a model, I combined a self-portrait sketch with a composition based on a photo I found on the Internet of Hurricane Wilma hitting south Florida in 2005. The plate-glass window was improvised, but the curtains and furniture are based on pieces I have in my own home.

"Song of the Hurricane." Oil on stretched canvas, 24 x 36 inches. Completed September 2007.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cary Farmhouse Series: Fourth Post

This small canvas was the fourth painting I completed based on the Cary farmhouse that is located on Holly Springs Road (about five miles from my home). I decided to focus on the rooftop of the house with this work, since it has so many interesting angles created by the multiple gables.

I first covered the canvas in a cadmium red acrylic base as an underpainting. On top of that I roughly sketched my composition in burnt sienna oil paint. Then, I painted the rest of image, working in a loose and rapid manner. The entire painting was finished in a two-hour time frame.

"Farmhouse Rooftop." Oil on stretched canvas, 9 x 12 inches. Completed in February 2008.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Aqueduct Ruins

This painting was another in the small series of canvases I completed in 2007 based on imagery seen during a trip to France two years previous. Considered a companion piece to the painting "Twilight at Glanum" (see previous post), the work depicts another Roman ruin, the ancient aqueduct at Barbegal.

Thought to have been constructed in the 1st century AD, these ruins were part of a water system linked to a large flour mill complex located about 7.5 miles north of Arles. The aqueduct funneled water from the Alpilles Mountains to an expansive and fertile valley region that served as the bread-basket for Arles, then an important Roman city called Arelate. (For more information on this system, visit

My traveling companions and I chanced upon the site while driving north from Arles on our way to Glanum and Saint-Remy-de-Provence. A small road marker indicated the turnoff to the aqueduct, and after following a winding country road a few kilometers, the ruins appeared on the right. The site is remote, unrestored and rises in the middle of existing farmlands. An overgrown dirt path, free of interpretive markers of any kind, hugs the stone wall of arches until it ends at a drop-off that overlooks the valley below.

For the painting, I chose to depict the ruins in a Romantic vein with an improvised sky filled with dramatic lighting indicative of sunset. I made some subtle changes to the architecture of the ruins to heighten the atmosphere, but for the most part the painting is a faithful depiction of the complex. Like "Twilight at Glanum," this canvas will be included in my upcoming solo exhibition at the Jordan Hall Arts Center in April 2009.

"Aqueduct Ruins." Oil on stretched canvas, 30 x 40 inches. Completed in October 2007.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Twilight at Glanum

Two years ago I did a short series of canvases based on sites I visited during an October 2005 trip to the south of France. One of these sites was the Roman ruins of Glanum, an ancient city that once thrived just south of present-day Saint-Remy-de-Provence.

The Glanum site may date back to 1,000 BC, and existed prior to its later occupation by the Greeks and then the Romans. Roman rule began in approximately 100 BC and continued until 260 AD when it was destroyed by the Alamanni tribe of Germanic descent. The most striking feature to survive today is the triumphal arch constructed between 10 and 25 AD. Nearby is a towering cenotaph dedicated to Sextius, Marcus and Lucius Julius, the sons of Gaius. (More information on this area is available at

During his stay in Arles and Saint-Remy from 1888 to 1890, Vincent Van Gogh painted in the Glanum area. In fact, the Van Gogh painting entitled "The Olive Trees" (1889) depicts the rocky bluffs that can be seen today overlooking the excavated site at Glanum.

For my canvas, I relied on photographs taken during my afternoon visit to the site. The final composition is a combination of several images I captured that day, and the setting sunlight and distant mountains were created from imagination and memory.

In August 2007 this painting was juried into the Flanders Art Gallery's Regional Art Exhibition by juror Bill Thelen. It will also be featured in my upcoming solo exhibition "Structure and Light" at the Jordan Hall Arts Center (Cary NC) in April of this year.

"Twilight at Glanum." Oil on stretched canvas, 30 x 40 inches, completed July 2007.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Heading for Savannah

I'll be heading down to Savannah, Georgia today for a long weekend visit. I plan to see the George Bellows drawing exhibit at the Telfair Museum while there, as well as tour the Mercer-Williams House. This is a trip I take annually at the end of January as a mid-winter getaway, and as a chance to rekindle my visual interests in art and architecture. The weather is supposed to be sunny and mild, so it should be a good weekend to walk around this magnificent city. There is truly no place on earth like Savannah.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Favorite Artists: Tinam Valk

Tinam Valk is a Washington, DC-based artist whom I have known for nearly 25 years. She and I first met in 1985 while both working at the Maryland College of Art and Design (now known as the School of Art + Design at Montgomery College). Of German and Indonesian descent, she is originally from the Netherlands but has lived in the United States since the mid 1970s.

The painting above, "Stairway I," was an immediate favorite of mine when Tinam completed it a few years ago. A large work in oils, measuring 48 x 24 inches in dimension, I purchased it from Tinam in 2006 and it now hangs in my living room. While Tinam utilizes a variety of subject matter, working primarily in an atmospheric figurative vein, her architectural subjects are especially appealing to me. She has recently completed a series of small paintings depicting doorways, and is currently working on canvases that draw inspiration from wrought-iron works and door locks. Her portfolio also includes several large canvases based on landscape imagery sketched during her annual visits to Hunting Island, South Carolina.

Tinam has a wonderful web site at that is well worth a visit.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Childhood Memories

The painting above is another example of recent figurative work I've produced, in addition to the focus on architectural subjects. The source for this canvas was a small black-and-white family snapshot taken of me as a child in 1963. I kept much of the background just as it was in the photo, but made changes to the figure.

A self-portrait in one sense, the painting also served as a conduit to memories from my childhood. The house where we lived at the time the photo was taken hosted many of my earliest memories. We moved away from it when I was six-years-old, so I only have blurred images of my time there. Frankly, most of those memories are now based on the handful of photographic evidence that remains from that time frame. I'm intrigued by the idea of exploring childhood memories through paintings, and may return to this subject matter again some day.

"Summer 1963." Oil on stretched canvas, 36 x 36 inches, completed June 2007.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Figurative Painting

kenneth eugene peters 3 am painting For the past year I have concentrated on canvases that utilized architectural themes, with an emphasis on light. However, I have at times completed works that incorporate the human figure.

This painting, entitled "3 A.M.," was completed in 2007. At the time this canvas was produced, I was going through a great deal of change in my professional life. The idea came to me after having spent a sleepless night thinking about work and its challenges. The setting was a room in my own home. For the figure, I posed myself and then took a series of self-timed digital camera shots. From these I produced a charcoal sketch, and then used the drawing as a basis for the final work. This piece was shown in the July-August 2007 exhibition "Anything Goes" at the Kirk Adam Gallery in Raleigh.

"3 A.M." Oil on stretched canvas, 24 x 36 inches. Completed April 2007.

Monday, January 12, 2009

On the Easel: Street Corner at Night

kenneth eugene peters street corner painting This painting was one of the last I completed in 2008. It's a small study that I did as an exercise over the course of a few evenings to keep in practice. The subject depicts a highly simplified version of the view from the front of my house in suburban Raleigh.

"Street Corner at Night." Oil on stretched canvas, 12 x 16 inches. Completed December 2008.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Favorite Museums: John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art

In November I had the opportunity to visit the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida. I had long wanted to do so in order to tour the Ringling's legendary winter home, Ca d'Zan, which is also located on the 20-acre site. However, in addition to the splendor offered by Ca d'Zan, I was impressed with the sumptuous art museum built by John Ringling in the 1930s adjacent to his home.

The museum's collection includes two rooms devoted to huge works by Peter Paul Rubens. It also houses multiple rooms dedicated to Italian, French, Spanish, British and American art, and features a beautiful open courtyard filled with statues made from casts of original Renaissance masterpieces, including a made-to-scale version of Michelangelo's "David."

Ca d'Zan, the Ringling's winter home, was constructed in the mid 1920s. It is styled after a Venetian palace and includes original furnishings and art from the Ringling era. John Ringling was one of the five Ringling Brothers, circus kings of the late 19th and early 20th century who were so successful they eventually purchased the Barnum & Bailey Circus to create a combined act billed as "The Greatest Show on Earth." Two circus museums are also on the grounds, one holding a large collection of artifacts from the Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey Circus, and the other containing a huge scale model of the circus in its heyday during the 1910s.

I enjoyed a memorable day-long visit at the Ringling along the shore of Sarasota Bay, and I highly recommend it as a destination for other art, architecture or circus lovers. For more information, visit

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cary Farmhouse Series: Third Post

kenneth eugene peters farmhouse sun painting This canvas is the third I've completed in my Cary Farmhouse series. Titled "Farmhouse in the Sun," the painting was executed immediately after I finished "House on Holly Springs Road" (discussed in an earlier post).

In this piece I again explored the contrasts created by the strong late afternoon light that uniquely occurs during the winter months, when the sun is low on the horizon. I struggled with the sky on this canvas, and reworked it twice after having started on the painting. The sky dominates the composition, so it was important that it match the feeling I was trying to convey with the light. At first I created a dramatic cloud scene, but that seemed to overwhelm the canvas. I painted over that and settled on a quieter, cloudless skyscape that I think better captures the mood I was attempting to convey.

This painting was juried into the May 2008 exhibit "SCOPE: The North Carolina Landscape" at the Visual Art Exchange by juror Tom Grubbs. It was also awarded the Third Place prize in the exhibit, and was purchased by a private collector in Raleigh during the show's run.

"Farmhouse in the Sun." Oil on stretched canvas, 24 x 36 inches, completed February 2008.

Friday, January 2, 2009

"City Scenes" Opens Tonight at Visual Art Exchange

The Visual Art Exchange's new exhibit, "City Scenes," opens tonight. The reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. in the VAE's gallery at 325 Blake Street, Raleigh NC. I had one painting, "Movie Theater at Night," accepted into the juried exhibition by juror Mary Kay Kennedy of the Collector's Gallery. The show will run until January 29.