I’m excited to announce a show I never imagined I would do: a Retrospective Exhibition of 45 years of my paintings! It seems I’m old enough to have a retrospective; the fact that I must somehow be sixty-ish to accomplish this does not diminish my anticipation of sharing the progression my paintings have taken over time. Join me for the opening celebration on June 17, 2023, from 1-4 pm,at Tiffany Peay Jewelry, 3851 Main Road, Tiverton, RI.

Self Portrait oil painting copyright 1981 Peter Dickison
Self Portrait, Summer of 1981

The story of how this show has come to be is a little like making lemonade. After the death of my friend James Michael in 2021, some of my paintings that were in the collection of Jim and his partner, Richard Nelson, were returned to me. Richard and Jim were early supporters of my art career and my first collectors. Through the kindness of their estate, I am able to include some of the paintings they commissioned and purchased in the show.

My Retrospective Exhibition: 40 years and counting is dedicated to my mom, Lois Dickison, James Michael and Richard Nelson.

Richard started his career in New York as a principal dancer for the New York City Ballet. By the time I knew him, Richard was an interior designer with many notable and fabulous projects to his name and design firm, the Red Unicorn. Jim and Richard lived across the street in Newport and gave me my first commission in 1978, before I began studies at the Swain School of Design. The painting on wood panel that I produced for the commission will be on display in this exhibition. Over the years Richard and Jim bought many other paintings and enthusiastically followed my career. Now that they are gone, this feels like a very long time ago, but the paintings in this show are immediate and fresh works that remind me how great the impact their support was as I began my life as a fledgling artist. This body of paintings is a testament to our friendship, and the relationship between artist and collector.

The very same month as Jim left us, my Mother died. They were fast friends who talked daily; I think she needed to follow him to keep their conversation alive. Mom had always encouraged me in art, sent me to private lessons when possible, allowing me to do oil painting in my bedroom at age 10, and letting me believe that art was possible. My family was of vital support for me as a young person making the choice to be an artist. My brother bought paintings, and Mom also picked her favorites of my work at every stage and hung them at home in Newport. She had a diverse collection and I helped shift it all around when she wanted to make room for her newest piece. My paintings all came back to me when she died, and as I looked at them all together I felt an overwhelming affirmation again. I was filled with the sense that my family and collectors helped make it possible for me to keep making new work. To all who buy from artists: your support is like planting a little sapling in the yard that grows in time to a large shade tree. It makes much more possible than you realize at the time.

Vertical Rock oil painting, copyright 1983 Peter Dickison
Vertical Rock, 1983
Bathers, 2002
Rhone Vineyards oil painting, copyright 2000 Peter Dickison
Rhone Vineyards, 2000

On the subject of new work, I also invite you to my new studio this summer to see my latest work as part of the 20th Annual South Coast Artists Open Studio Tours. Since setting up the studio in March, I have been soaking in the new space and getting to work. I will be here with all my new work for sale.  I’ll show the paintings, you can soak in the beautiful view of the bay, and my neighbors, the hens of Fogland Ferry Farm will be there to greet you.

The Open Studio tours take place over two weekends: July 15-16 and August 19-20, 2023. Drop in; you will love it here, I promise!

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