Peter Thomas was born in 1953. Educated at Uppingham School, he studied sculpture and printmaking for his BA degree at Kingston . After taking an Art Teachers’ Certificate course at Brighton he became artist in residence at Felsted School, then taught Art and Design at Uppingham until, in 1981 he moved to the Dordogne. There he has converted an old barn and outbuildings into his house and studio.
The house in Dordogne, France
The beautiful landscape of this region of south-west France has been a major inspiration for Peter’s work. Originally a watercolourist, he now uses pastels almost exclusively, working ‘en plein air’. He finds pastel the ideal medium for using outdoors, allowing him to achieve rich colours and textures and deftly capture the fleeting effects of light, colour and season. He often revisits favourite subjects, and while delighting in the small details of the French or English countryside - bales in a field, reflections in a pond or river, a wildflower-freckled hedgebank - Peter also travels widely and has found great inspiration in more exotic subject matter found in the landscapes of the West Indes, Patagonia, Brazil, Zanzibar and North Africa, amongst others.
Peter has exhibited very successfully in numerous one-man shows and mixed exhibitions in France, the UK and the USA, gaining several prestigious awards over the years, including, in 2001, the title of ‘Maître Pastelliste de France’ having been elected a member of the Société des Pastellistes de France only the previous year.
A member of the Artistes Indépendants d’Aquitaine since 1984, he shows with them annually and has twice won the Premier Grand Prix de la Ville de Bordeaux. He had six pastels accepted for the Salon des Beaux Arts in the Grand Palais, Paris in 1987. That year he exhibited at Glyndebourne Opera Festival for the first time, he has accepted invitations to show his work there twice since then.
Simon Garbutt (painter, gardener and journalist)
Swaledale Festival May 2003
Peter has exhibited regularly with the Société des Pastellistes de France including the Festival International du Pastel at Limoges held every summer, (more than 12000 visitors.) He also teaches some ‘Master Classes’ with the Société during the summer months at Limoges. In 2007 Peter was one of the main speakers in the First European Congress of Pastellists in Paris.
The house in Andalucia, Spain
He has designed and had built a small house near Granada in the Sierras where he now goes to take advantage of the winter sun and Andalusian landscapes. In 2005 he participated in the opening of an important new gallery on the coast there at La Herradura called the Felicia Hall Galeria de Arte. Some of his work is permanently on exhibition there.
An international ‘glossy’ magazine called ‘Pratique des Arts’ used one of Peter’s pastels on the cover of their magazine in August 2005 and inside published a four page article about him and his work.
He continues to have numerous exhibitions around Europe.
2007 Médaille d’Or, Lions Club, Bordeaux
2001 Maître Pastelliste de France
2000 Membre de la Société des Pastellistes de France
1998 Premier Grand Prix de la Ville de Bordeaux
1992 Premier Prix, Agen
1991 Premier Prix, St Astier, suivi par une exposition
1990 Premier Grand Prix de la Ville de Bordeaux
1987 Premier Prix Salon de Peinture, La Réole
1984 -99 Membre des Artistes Indépendants d’Aquitaine
1984+82 Premier Prix Lions Club International, S.O.France
1978 Eastern Arts Award, England