Peter Pettegrew And The Highwaymen Of Florida

Just about everybody has heard of Florida landscape painter Peter Pettegrew by now, but have you ever thought of him as one of South’s famous Highwayman? Alright, that’s a little bit of a stretch, but he is– in his own way– very much like a lone Highwayman painting on location all over Florida , Georgia and the Carolinas. In Pettegrew’s early days of selling his work, it was “the old paint ’em and sell ’em” right from his car, and later from a big van his agent Jim Cournoyer owned. And yes, sometimes the paint was still wet when the sale was made!

When Peter hooked up with Jim in 1993, Jim took over the selling so Peter could devote more time to hittin’ the highways and back roads finding new subjects with the “right place with the right light.”

Although Pettegrew’s style has more of a Hudson River School feel with many layers of paint– more like Beanie Backus (one of Peter’s favorites and a Highwaymen mentor), in fact, his work has a lot in common with the Highwaymen. All of the Highwaymen artists are largely self taught, sharing ideas and learning with fellow painters, occasionally doing workshops together and separately.

Here is Pettegrew with Sam Newton who, along with brothers Len and Harold Newton, are among the best known original Highwayman. Peter took Sam’s workshop and they had much to talk about… a lot of years and stories on the road painting in Florida.

Peter’s favorite time to work is always what is called the “golden time,” just like Beanie Backus and most of the Highwayman.


“My favorite times of day were late afternoon or early morning, because the light is more alive then. I like the effect of light on the color of an object, and how light differs from day-to-day, season-to-season, place-to-place.”
Beanie Backus

JC

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Peter Pettegrew Paints Plein Air In The Ace Basin Of SC

Or tries to, anyway. This video clip from the “Heart of a Landscape Painter” documentary gives a pretty accurate demonstration of the joys and annoyances of outdoor painting in the highly unpredictable climate of the southeastern United States. Not exactly a demo, this is more a peek into the process that results in all those great nature paintings one sees hanging in galleries and collector’s homes. My own take is that if plein air painters didn’t have pretty good senses of humor, they would be studio painters.
Filmed during a trip up to the Ace Basin of coastal South Carolina, this video reproduces in YouTube’s Flash format as kind blocky and washed-out, as is typical– but those who wish to may phone 727-894-5266 or email SevenNorth@gmail.com to obtain the whole documentary on a DVD for the cost of postage and handling, which is around 9 and change in the US, I believe.

Heart Of A Landscape Painter
"Heart Of A Landscape Painter"
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Painting With Kids The Peter Pettegrew Way

Florida landscape impressionist painter Peter Pettegrew’s enthusiasm for art and love for kids comes shining through in this video snippet from his documentary film “Heart of a Landscape Painter.” The whole DVD is available at the cost of shipping and handling from his publisher and videographer, Wind Dog Films. Call 727-894-5266 or email sevennorth@gmail.com.

Heart Of A Landscape Painter
"Heart Of A Landscape Painter"
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Looking South From Marco Island In The Florida Everglades

“Looking South from Marco” is the title of Florida landscape impressionist painter Peter Pettegrew’s new study for another large 50×70 inch commissioned painting for a private collector. This is the view looking south from the patrons backyard (yes, this is Marco Island in the Everglades).
Pettegrew favors traveling to the site of his subject, studying the flora & fauna while hiking around, getting a sense of the place before starting a smaller “study painting” on location (plein air). Once the collector approves the study, Peter will start the master painting in his studio to complete the commission. In this case the gallery handling the sale liked the study itself so much they bought it for their own stock. There were a few changes agreed to by Peter and the collector which will be reflected in the final painting, so we are looking forward to seeing the large finished product this coming fall. It should take Pettegrew 2-3 months to finish– look for the post here and on pettegrew.com

looking south from marco island
looking south from marco island
Florida landscape impressionist painter Peter Pettegrew at work on a large painting
Florida landscape impressionist painter Peter Pettegrew at work on a large painting
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New Appalachian Painting By Peter Pettegrew

Florida landscape impressionist painter Pettegrew is a long way from home in the setting of this painting which features a gazebo and mountains (gasp) in the distance– the scene is western North Carolina, and this piece was made on location for the Richard James Gallery of Cashiers, NC. Although known primarily as a southeastern U.S. artist, Peter travels in the Caribbean, the Appalachians and the American West annually, with occasional excursions to Europe.

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Summer Afternoon

14×18, Oil on canvas.

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Pettegrew’s “Heart Of A Landscape Painter” Excerpts on YouTube

Excerpts from Florida landscape impressionist painter Peter Pettegrew’s full length documentary film “Heart of a Landscape Painter” will be available on YouTube over the coming days. The first snippet, in which Peter demonstrates his plein air painting technique in the wilds of the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in Northeast Florida is presented below.
Although the video survives the transition to Flash format reasonably well, those who would like to view the entire video with all its segments and production values intact may contact Lila at 727-894-5266 or email her at sevennorth@gmail.com.

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Peter Pettegrew’s One-Man Show At The Annex, Neptune Beach

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Florida landscape impressionist painter Peter Pettegrew is guest of honor at his one man show hosted by The Annex at Neptune Beach FL.
A Collection of New Works from this modern day plein air impressionist. Pettegrew brought 39 paintings along with original handmade serigraphs and stone lithographs painted over the last 2 years. The collection includes painting from his travels in Montana, California, South Carolina, the Caribbean and, of course, Florida.
The huge collection of Pettegrew landscapes was matched by the huge turn-out for this fund raiser and the 1st Pettegrew show here at the Annex.
The show will be up until 25th of July The Annex 200 1st Street North Neptune Beach Florida (904-247-7200)

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Caribbean Landscape Impressionist Painter Peter Pettegrew Checks In

I met up with Captain and crew at Christenstead Harbor in St. Croix, where we rented a car and toured the entire island. The shot of the pig was at an odd bar up in the rain forest that someone had suggested.

Later that day we sailed for Buck Island, still a part of St. Croix but about 1 1/2 miles off the coast. The shot of the boat “One Love” was taken from ashore and as you can see it’s a very beautiful and pristine place, part of the National Parks System.

It’s hard to believe you’re in US territory. The following day we set sail for the other Virgin Islands, about 25 miles due north, coming into Norman Island (BVI) and then dropping anchor at Cinnamon Bay on St. Johns.

Again, we were in the Parks System as this island is 2/3  National Park (USA)  thanks to the generosity of Lawrence Rockefeller, who liked to spend time there. This was probably my favorite spot and one that I would like to get back to for a more extended painting excursion. After that, we sailed across to Tortola where we provisioned the boat and exchanged a few crew members. That night was spent moored in Trellis Bay, an artist community that sits just steps away from the small airport on the tip of Tortola. We sailed down the Northwest coast of Tortola the following day and docked at Soper’s Hole to have a few mechanical issues looked at, and on the suggestion of locals, stayed at dock overnight to allow some bad weather to work by. The following day was sunny and breezy with a steady 30knots blowing from the east. We sailed all the way up the Sir Francis Drake Channel to the northern tip of Virgin Gorda and grabbed a mooring just off the Bitter End Yacht Club for the night. Necker Island, owned privately by Sir Richard Bransen could be seen just off to the north. The following day we sailed to the opposite end of Virgin Gorda to the famous “Baths”, a formation of huge, smooth boulders piled up along a stretch of sandy, palm lined beach where you can either explore the caves and paths on shore or snorkel the coral reef just in front of it. Being my last day, I opted for doing both.

We spent the night in Cane Garden Bay, back in Tortola under idyllic conditions and I was delivered to the ferry dock early the next day for departure back to Florida.

Peter Pettegrew

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Impressionist Pettegrew Cruises The Caribbean For New Paintings

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Caribbean impressionist landscape painter Peter Pettegrew leaves Florida today for an 8 day painting expedition to St. John, St. Croix and St Thomas– US Virgin Islands, exploring for those idyllic scenes Pettegrew always finds. Mostly known as a Florida landscape impressionist , he is also known as a western landscape impressionist, a southeastern landscape impressionist and of course a Caribbean landscape impressionist painter. On this trip he will be traveling on a 55 foot catamaran; he is an experienced sailor and will also be part of the crew.
Last year he did a voyage on the same ship and sketched, painted and sailed his way through the British Virgin Islands and then on to St. Maarten and St. Barts in the West Indies. Look for pictures of his travels here in about 2 weeks …bon voyage.

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florida-impressionist