(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – After seventeen years as a corporate fundraiser, Peter Hussey traded his gray flannel suit for an easel and became a full time watercolor artist. He succeeded in his new craft by painting the things he knew and liked best – the architectural details of old New England buildings. As a frustrated architect, he found his inspiration in the doorways, stairways, cupolas, rooftops, widows’ watches and gables on Shingle Style homes along the Rhode Island coast. He built his considerable reputation on his ability to compose compelling architectural subjects and to paint their surfaces – stone, brick, clapboards, slate, copper or wood – in a thoroughly life-like way. The Harrison Gallery will present a solo show of watercolor paintings by Hussey beginning with an opening reception on Saturday, September 3, from 5 to 7. The exhibition runs through September 28.
Although his work is realistic, the objects in Hussey’s paintings create abstract patterns that in themselves make complete and forceful compositions. A self-taught artist, Hussey wanted from the beginning to have his own artistic vision. He wanted to learn from his own mistakes and build on his own discoveries. This approach has given his work a decided freshness and the unmistakable stamp of originality.
Hussey was profoundly influenced by Frederic Edwin Church, whose paintings showed him how to paint every leaf and nail and still be painterly in the process. John Henry Twachtman, the American Expressionist, taught him about colors and Wayne Thiebaud’s works taught him how to inhabit that elusive space between abstraction and reality.
Hussey, who lives and works in Portsmouth, R.I., has an A.B. degree in history from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. He is a member the Art League of Rhode Island and the American Artists Professional League in New York City. He is a fan of bluegrass music and plays the banjo.
The Harrison Gallery is located at 39 Spring Street in Williamstown, Mass. Gallery hours are Monday – Saturday, 10 to 5:30; Sunday 11 to 4. For further information please contact The Harrison Gallery at 413.458.1700 or visit the Harrison Gallery.