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Peter Evans

PETER EVANS is one of those 'how the hell does he do it' type of painters. It's not a scholarly description – you won't find it in the index of an art history book. But it fits, because his work manages to be prodigiously technical, yet warm and involving at the same time.

The origins of Peter's winning style began in 1978 when he abandoned abstraction and opted to explore its flipside: photo-realism.  It was to prove a liberating switch. Maybe it's because the apparent freedom offered by abstraction can, for some, become a straightjacket. If you can do anything, you can become paralysed by options. Representational painting, by contrast, forces the artist to look more closely at the world around him or her – and make a choice about what to render on canvas. This is what Peter does so beautifully. The harmony and texture in nature is a favourite inspiration for him. It's there in Pebbles, a fabulous study in light and shade as well as a technical masterclass. It really is as if you went to the beach and stared down at your feet.

Elsewhere, Peter creates compositions from disparate objects to beguiling effect. There's a subtly haunting quality to paintings like Still Life With Clarice Cliff Vase and Still Life With Skull – not just in the strange combination of artifacts, but also in the way the paint peels away to suggest time passing.