March 3: Benjamin Peters

Benjamin Peters 120 E State St

Fred Zappia, Recent Works

I majored in Art History in the late 1960s, did some studio work with acrylics. After graduation decided to pursue an MFA, but my father became disabled and I became responsible for the family business. I retired in 2013, and for the first time in 42 years set up my easel in the garage.

Working initially in oil pastels for several months, I slowly regained control of the drawing and colors, began painting on canvas with oils- primarily figure studies. I struggled, and after several months decided the canvas was too absorbent. My brush strokes disappeared when the paint dried. I preferred working wet-on-wet. I felt I needed a smooth surface. I went to the art store and searched every multi-media pad until I felt the surface of smooth parchment paper. I tried it. It was the answer. I became very comfortable working on that surface. Obviously it is delicate, but I have completed almost 100 paintings in the past 9 months, and no issues yet.

This painting of a Naples fish market comes from an Italian travel book. I have done several other scenes from this book, all with figures involved. This subject was one of my first efforts. Since then I have done sports scenes, street scenes, landscapes, and still lifes. I still gravitate towards figures. I am now 70 years old, regret the lost years in business, but most appreciative of this late opportunity to paint.