“It has been said that modern realism begins from the position that truth can be discovered by the individual through the senses.” Ian Watt
I am passionate about what I paint. For as long as I can remember I have always had a reverence for the natural world. I feel drawn and connected to the land and am constantly aware of the primal essence of nature. I note the moods of the changing weather and seasons and marvel how a well-beloved landscape can change it’s appearance from one day to the next, one hour to the next.
As Picasso said, “I don’t search for things, I find them.” Once I get to know an area I recognize almost instinctively what I want to paint. The more familiar you are with an area or landscape, the more aware you are of its details, its nuances. You develop a sense of its intrinsic nature—its soul. And I’ve come to realize that I’m not only trying to portray the visual world in my painting, I’m saying something about my spiritual response to the land and its dynamic harmonies, as well.
My goal as an artist has not been to merely create a detailed likeness of the landscape. Rather I am looking for a dimension, a personality, a mood that resides in each of the places that I paint. And I hope my work encourages the viewer to give serious thought to humanity’s relationship to our natural surroundings – our need to respect, to revere nature.
Although my paintings have been inspired by real places, they serve as metaphors for me, a narrative of my life, about who I am and what's important to me and how I see myself as part of the natural world. I like to paint large canvases, their epic size doing justice to the grandeur of the subject matter- landscapes and seascapes in the romantic landscape tradition. The depiction of light is integral to my painting, and reflects my appreciation for the work of the 'luminists' and the Hudson River school.
When I began painting landscapes I was obsessed with portraying as much detailed realism as possible. And while realism will always be my first love, I am now exploring the possibility of representational painting and abstraction co-existing at the same time and at the same place. Where my realism work is an acknowledgement of the pure grandeur of nature, my abstract work is a recognition of how complex and mysterious the natural world is.
I believe that every work of art should in some way be a revelation. It should change us in some degree–both viewer and artist.
Peter Gough was born in Nova Scotia in 1947. He has a home and studio in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.
Gough began his art education at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, having received a scholarship to the college in 1969. Three years later, Gough attended Andrews University in Michigan, USA and continued his fine art education under the influence of sculpture Allan Collins, who designed the Kennedy Memorial for John F. Kennedy at Runnymede.
A realist painter, Gough is influenced by his rural surroundings and is constantly aware of the challenges it faces by urban progress. Firmly rooted in the physical reality of the places he chooses, at a moment in time, his paintings are imbued with a luminosity that transcends realism.
“His work is sheer magic. The magic lies in the essence of light.”
Tom Butterfield, Masterwork Foundation, Bermuda
Gough has exhibited in the United States, Scotland, England and Canada. He is represented in galleries across Canada and the U.K. His works are in many private, corporate and public collections throughout Europe, the United States and Canada. One of his paintings was presented to his Royal Highness, Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh on his royal tour to Canada in 1997.
In 1992 Peter was awarded the Canada 125 medal for the creation of the Canada 125 logo.
Awards and Grants
American Art Awards 2011-1st and 2nd Place - Realism/Landscape
International Artist-Finalist Award
Finalist 73 CSPW
Newfoundland & Labrador Arts Council - exhibition grant
Canada/Newfoundland Cultural Agreement Grant - exhibition grant
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade - travel grant
Canada House, London, England - exhibition grant
Artist -in-Residence, Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve
Canada 125 Medal
Finalist 2014 Realism Art Exhibition – Artists Portfolio Magazine
Landscape Artists International - Juried Member
Society of Canadian Artists - Elected Member, Vice President
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2015 "Canoe" ~ Solo, Gallery 78 Fredericton, NB
2012 “Rouge” Trinity Galleries,Saint John, N.B.
2011 “Clouds” Trinity Galleries, Saint John, N.B.
“Floating” Amber Rose Gallery, Mahone Bay N.S.
2009 “Autumn Woods”, Trinity Galleries, Saint John, N.B
2007 Solo exhibition, Trinity Galleries, Saint John, N.B
2005 "Rivers" of New Brunswick, solo exhibition, Trinity Galleries, Saint John, N.B
2003 "After the Equinox – cadmium", solo exhibition, Trinity Galleries, Saint John, N.B.
2001 "Currents of Light", solo exhibition, Trinity Galleries, Saint John, N.B.
"The Ark", solo exhibition, Saint John City Center, New Brunswick
"The Ark", solo exhibition, Copley Plaza, Boston, Massachusetts
"The Ark", solo exhibition, Natural History Museum, Halifax, N.S.
(The Ark - an exhibition of paintings in support of the Gulf of Maine Council
on the Marine Environment)
1999 "It's in Our Nature", solo exhibition, Aberdeen Exhibition Center, Scotland
1998 "Naturally Newfoundland", solo exhibition, Ginger Gallery, Bristol, England
"Return to the River”, solo exhibition, Fluvarium, St. John's, NF
1997 "Flight Over the Cape", solo exhibition, Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve, St.John's, NF
Selected Group Exhibitions
2014 “Capture 2014” Nova Scotia Realism Exhibit, curated by Tom Smart and Peter Dykhuis
Dalhousie Art Gallery, St. Francis Xavier University Art Gallery, and Cape Breton University Art Gallery.
2013 Group show, Acadia University Art gallery, Wolfville,NS
2012 “Seascapes”, Gallery Gevik, Toronto, Ontario
“Summer Show” The Leyton Gallery, St. John’s, NL
Society of Canadian Artists, National Exhibition, Halifax, NS
“Aspects of Realism” Saint John Art Centre, Saint John, N.B.
2010 Dual exhibition, Jo Beale Gallery Fine Art, Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia
2010 “ Canadian Landscapes “ , group exhibition, Gallery Gevik, Toronto
2008 “Reves d’automne” art festival 10-10-10, Baie-Saint Paul, Quebec
Exhibition will be presented across Canada
2007 “The New Look of Landscape”, Virginia Christopher Fine Art, Calgary, Alberta
“Landscape Impressions”, Gallery Gevik, Toronto, Ontario
“Curator’s Choice”, Virginia Christopher Fine Art, Calgary, Alberta
2006 Intro exhibition, Virginia Christopher Fine Art, Calgary, Alberta
2005 Nova Scotia Art Bank, group exhibition, Mary E. Black Gallery, Halifax, N.S.
"The Canadian Landscape", group exhibition, Gallery Gevik, Toronto
2004 "The Naturalists Revisited", dual exhibition, Gallery Gevik, Toronto
2003 "Water: Transition and Transformation", group exhibition, Gallery Gevik, Toronto
"Landscape", group exhibition, Gallery Gevik, Toronto
2000 Studio Rally Showcase, group exhibition, Pier 21, Halifax, N.S.
1999 Canadian Museum of Nature, 14th Annual Juried Group Exhibition,
Wildlife Habitat Canada, Ottawa
1998 Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, 73rd Annual Juried Group Exhibition,
John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto (Finalists)
Canadian Museum of Nature, 13th Annual Juried Group Exhibition,
Wildlife Habitat Canada, Ottawa
Selected Corporate Collections
Davies Park, Calgary, Alberta
Bank of Montreal - Nesbitt Burns, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Clearwater Fine Foods - Bedford, Nova Scotia
Irving Oil, Saint John, New Brunswick
Novell and Tullett, Bristol, England
Remax Realty, St. John's, NF.
Quidi Vidi Rennies River Development Foundation, St. John's, NF.
Bristol Communications, St. John's, NF
Newfoundland Transshipment Limited, St. John's, NF.
Newtel Communications, St. John's, NF.
Fortis Inc., St. John's, NF.
TRA Newfoundland, St. John's, NF.
Bristol Group Inc., Halifax, Nova Scotia
Vemco Ltd., Shad Bay, N.S.
J.D. Irving Ltd., Saint John, New Brunswick.
ManCal Corporation, Calgary, Alberta
Wagner & Associates, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Stewart McKelvey Stirling Scoles, Fredericton, New Brunswick
Acadia Broadcasting Ltd.,
The Great Eastern Corporation, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Altimus Minerals Corp., St. John’s, NF
Strum Environmental,Bedford, Nova Scotia
Fairview Chrysler, Fredericton, New Brunswick
Selected Public Collections
Acadia University, K.C. Irving Environmental Science Center, Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Newfoundland Trailway Council/ Trans Canada Trail
City of Aberdeen, Scotland
Parks Association, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
City Museum & Art Gallery of Bristol, England
Government of Newfoundland & Labrador, Art Procurement Program, 1997,
Government of Newfoundland & Labrador, Parks Division
HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Government of Nova Scotia Art Bank
Publication of Works
From Land and Sea (2009), Nova Scotia’s contemporary Landscape Artists
International Artist (2009)
Telegraph – Journal (2009)
International Artist (2007)
Galleries West (2006)
Globe and Mail (2004)
Arts Atlantic (2001)
Visual Arts News (2001)
Canadian Art Magazine – “ Capture 2014: Nova Scotia Realism” by Doug Pope
Artist Portfoilo Magazine