American Art Collector
January 30, 2012
William Trost Richards (1833-1905) observed the details of a landscape from clouds to flower petals with a loving intensity. In his book, William Trost Richards: “He Knew the Sea” C.B. Ferguson quotes Richards’ son who recalled that his father “stood for hours…with folded arms, studying the motion of the sea, until people thought him insane. After days of gazing, he made pencil notes of the action of the water.”
Peter Sculthorpe knows the sea and comments about paintings its energy. “The only way this energy can be contained is in a paintings,” he says. “The paintings will speak to 10 viewers in 10 different ways. To me, that energy says something different depending on what I need from it each time.”
Aftermath, a large oil on linen, depicts the relentless pounding of the ocean waves continuing to shape the shore after a storm has passed out to sea. Tomorrow the waves may gently lap the shore as they do in his even larger paintings A View to Manana.
Sculthorpe was born in Canada and after attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, set up a studio in Chester County, Pennsylvania, where Richards had painted many years before. He now lives in nearby Rockland, Delaware, making annual trips to the coast of Maine.
“Richards’ work has inspirational value in its directness and matter-of-factness,” Sculthorpe observes. “He has the ability to make a meager subject iconic and approachable at the same time which, to me, speaks true genius. That is what I’ve been after for years.”
Whether it is the ever changing majesty of the ocean or the subtle effect of moonlight on the frosty fields of a mid-Atlantic farm, Sculthorpe’s paintings encompass grand scale and minute detail reflecting his simple but vast philosophy: “I’m interested in life on earth.”
The Collector Says…
“He started my love of art, from the very first time I saw his paintings. Peter is one of the most talented artists I know. I love realism, but his interpretation is so expressive. I probably hold one of the largest collections of his work and I am still collecting.”
– Cindy Pettinaro Wilkinson
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