He’s never had his paintings professionally photographed so these don’t do them justice, but it gives an idea . . . every one captures something special about the NSW North Coast.
10 July 19
This could be seen as a brazen plug from me (PLB ed) for an old mate, and that’d be about right really, but still . . . it’s also some credit where it’s due.
Artist Peter Lane and I first met when we were groms running around the NSW North Coast back when single-fins were all there was. Out of school we moved to Sydney and shared a flat near the beach at Freshie with a bunch of other hayseeds for a few years, and then travelled around Europe in a fried-out Kombi for a year or so, surfing through France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
You get to know someone pretty well doing all that, but funny, never once did Pete mention that he liked to paint, and I never saw any evidence of it either.
We settled into real life as you do, caught up occasionally and stayed in casual contact over the decades, and then about 15 years ago he sent an email with an amazing, detailed image of Arrawarra Point attached, labeled “our old stomping ground”.
I emailed back asking where he got it, and he said, “I painted it”. “Pardon! You what?!”
It was a group email to old friends, and we were all stunned. “Brownie, what arse did you pull that out of?” was one reaction (Peter’s nickname is Charlie Brown ’cause when he was young he kinda looked like Charlie Brown). Then he leveled that he liked to paint seascapes as a kid, and that over the years he’d gone back to it as he found it “soothing”.
Turn’s out he’s painted several different angles of Angourie, front beach and back, and Yamba Main, Woolgoolga Main, Minnie Waters, Spookies and many more, and he doesn’t really set out to paint them when the surf is cracking, but rather to capture some of their innate character on a cruisy day. He also paints North Coast river flats and creek mouths, Wooli, Red Rock and others – and to me every one of them is something beautiful.
The paintings are quite big, he’s shown a few in local galleries and in a couple of prestigious ones, but he’s never really pushed them commercially. Many hang in the homes of family, he sells the odd one here and there (for a lot less than what they are worth I think) and he is open to selling more, and fair bet this weekend he’ll be out working on another somewhere. It’s soothing after all. And I’m pretty sure he’d be open to commissions too if you’ve got a favourite beach . . .