PETER JOHN REID
I was born in Plymouth, England, on a beautiful sunny day a few years ago. I immigrated to Canada in 1964 and was raised in North Toronto, rural at first gradually shifting to urban. For the past thirty-some years I have resided in rural Grey County in the heart of Niagara Escarpment country, which has a wealth of beautiful landscapes. I currently live on an idyllic 4-acre wooded property with my partner, visual artist, writer, and yoga instructor Bonnie Gardiner.
The creative process has been strong throughout my life – from the time I could first hold a crayon. In-class art every Friday was the highlight of my week in public school. I then attended C.W. Jeffries in North York, a high school with a dedicated arts program, followed by four years of post-secondary schooling at the Ontario College of Art, now known as OCAD U.
Like some famous Canadian painters you may have heard of, I worked in the commercial art field, raising a family and paying the bills, while developing and exploring my craft. I am an avid painter working mostly in acrylics although on occasion I work in oils, watercolour, and cold wax (similar to encaustics). My paintings are in a number of galleries in Ontario and Nova Scotia, and I can be found on the internet by googling my name – or ‘good looking guys’. I am also a closet sculptor, working in metal, concrete, and wood; however, the sculpting I do only for myself.
Striving always to improve my craft has led me to teach. Although reluctant at first, I started a painting group, Studio Twenty, where artists or artist wannabes could come to paint and where I shared some tidbits of information on how to paint. This led to a greater understanding of how to teach what I know and to my authoring three books on how to paint in acrylics, along with multiple paid and Youtube videos. The videos, books, and my teaching have become a successful and enjoyable part of my life. Studio Twenty has developed into a group of talented painters who have raised more than $20,000 for our community and local charities through donated paintings.
My partner Bonnie Gardiner is also a painter, which makes life a little easier, as being a visual artist becomes a way of life – even when you’re not painting, you are thinking about painting or photographing images for your next project or doing the business side of the art. We have canvases in various stages of completion on review about the house; the art is forever changing on our walls.