My name is Peter G Buchan
I have studied art my entire life, Really.
Born number 5 of 7 siblings we were all drawing from the very beginning.
We had picture books of Michelangelo, David,Picasso, and illustrators such as Howard Pyle and Arthur Rackham.
Books on how to draw Disney or Warner Brothers characters. To name but a few.
Mom used to hold drawing competitions to keep us busy and out of her hair.
She sews and did crafts to earn extra money, we helped her hollow out eggs, decupoge flowers onto plaster plaques.
Dad was into carving, the address over the front door, the mailbox post.
For Christmas he would carve linoleum block and print his own cards. We would help string them up to dry across the living room with paper clips.
By the time I was a senior in highschool I was well known in the state of Nevada for my pen and ink drawings, I also had a full time job as a cook.
Instead of college I went to Los Angeles and played Rock and Roll for 10 years.
I always had a job, usually in the food service industry. I also kept studying Art. Took courses at the city colleges in LA county, of which there are many.
By the time I turned 40 I found myself the painter for the Long Beach Arena. Fate? I also found that I didn’t want to be painting bathroom stalls and ceilings for another 20 years….what to do, what to do?
I had lots of experience with art. People always seemed to like my artwork.
It also seemed like there were plenty of artists making a living at art who’s work I believed wasn’t all that great.
What did they have that I didn’t have?
How do you sell art?
How do you price it?
(Years later after extensive searching i discovered that NO ONE had the answers. I just had to do it.)
Well first, I new I needed a body of work
My father used to say, ” You gotta produce son.”
So that is how I began. I took a page from Jackson Pollock and began painting with solvent based Industrial Enamel.
I used scrap wood I found in dumpsters to practice on.
My first year I sold one painting for $50.00 (wow!)
I fell in love with painting on wood, loved the beauty and warmth of the grain. I ruined so many paint brushes those first couple years that I began using chopsticks instead. My System was to keep my overhead as low as possible, paint as much as possible and sell once a month at the local ARTWALK.
My initial goal was to make enough money selling art to pay my rent. Sell nothing but originals. Let other artists sell machine generated pieces of paper. I wanted folks to have the real thing.
Well one show a month is not enough to live on, so I still had a job, but….that one artwalk was a springboard into the art world. People began stopping by my booth asking if I would show my work in their hair salon, coffee house, restaraunt, ect…I made friends with other artists. Some I admired their work. Some I just liked as people. I did trades. I got praised and derided. I got ripped off. I learned when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” ( still learning that one actually.) I miss some opportunities and dominate others. that’s life.
I realised after a time that Art wasn’t a means to an end. It was a life style. ( a real life style not a dress up for burning man lifestyle.} The most important aspect being, “TO PRODUCE SON” You do what you gotta do. Sell what you got and paint some more.
In 2012 I quit my day job and gave into, producing and selling Art full time. Cashed in my 401K (after 10 years it wasn’t worth much. No security there.) My wonderful (long suffering) partner, Marsinah encouraged me and sustains the BUSINESS aspect when I get too artsy to care, ” To hell with the BOE!” I declare. She just shakes her head as she stuggles with the taxes.
We met at a live painting exhibit. She caught my attention when she said, ” Your selling your work too cheap.” then she bought 4 paintings. totalling about $250.00 How she puts up with me i cannot fathom.
This year we moved from the sprawl of Long Beach to a small rural community in the foothills of the Sierra’s.
I struggle to find new markets to replace those I lost in the move. I spend a lot more time pushing my online venues and dealing with the challenge of painting at a different altitude and an EXTEMELY HOT climate.
In the past 11 years I have sold paintings for thousands of dollars, and I have also traded them for beer and kisses.
I love what I do and as Bukowski wrote, “I may not be the happiest man on earth, but I am surely the luckiest man alive.”
So, Hungry artist?
As long as you like Beans and tortillas, a little avocado when you can get it…maybe a bottle of cheap wine and the love of a good woman, I can find happiness in the struggle.
Life can be a song.
It should be an adventure.
With art and love it can be beautiful.
Follow your bliss my friends.
Peter G Buchan
Kernville California august 3 2014
Using the unconventional approach of painting perpendicular to the canvas, established artist Peter G. Buchan harnesses the power of gravity to drip paint from chopsticks, creating simple images that evoke complex emotions. Though many artists use drip technique, few--if any--are creating figurative works with industrial enamel, leading Buchan to his latest endeavor of creating a series of workshops to teach this method.
As a full-time successful artist with two studios in Long Beach and Kernville, California, Buchan is combining his teachings while creating new works for commission, gallery shows and fine art exhibits.