Jon Peaty’s first artistic love was painting and it is as a painter that he would wish to be remembered.
The artist’s own estimate was that he painted upwards of 3,000 works over the course of 50 years.
The family have evidence of approximately 500 paintings but only have access to a fraction of those known works.
From the limits of the work available to us we show paintings from across the decades in a range of media and of varying subject matter.
Landscape and portraiture where the dominant subjects of Jon’s later career.
The first known painting, Welsh Cottage – probably early 30’s – was preserved by the artist’s mother. Virtually all other pre-war work was destroyed when a bomb fell on Parton Street in central London where Jon had stored his work whilst serving in the war.
In the early 1930’s Jon came into the orbit of artist Walter Sickert (1860-1942) and attended classes at Sickert’s atelier at 1 Highbury Place in Islington. Jon’s love of earthy tones and his attempt to capture the play of light on the landscape are influences from this time.
When Jon turned his attention to painting for a living in the early 1960’s, he noted a growing desire amongst the post-war, financially-recovering mainly middle classes, for art works on their walls.
Rural landscapes, coastal scenes and intimate townscapes, the quiet corner of a street, a pot of flowers, all these subjects, along with portraiture, sold well and shaped his output for the next thirty years.
From the early 1960’s until 1972 the American Women’s Club in London asked Jon to run art classes and seminars for members. This, and a couple of spin-offs from it, provided a useful income.
First of the spin-offs was a steady stream of portrait commissions, the second was three (at least) exhibitions of paintings in California.