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Peter Anderson: Painting A Different Type of Landscape

Jun 30, 2023 12:53PM ● By Susan Nye Photography By Kevin Harkins

Born in Roswell, New Mexico, a few short years after the infamous (alleged) UFO incident, Peter Anderson has lived all over the country and the world. His paintings form an abstract travelogue of the many places he has lived and visited. However, instead of a traditional landscape, his paintings are abstract representations of his memories and maps of those places—the New Mexico desert, Aztec ruins, the rolling hills of Italy, and more.

Many of his paintings depict real or imagined landscapes from heights of 40,000 feet, while others zoom in for a micro view. Still others give the impression of an expanse seen through atmospheric haze. The light, colors, and textures of the land surrounding his various homes and travels have played and continue to play an integral role in his art.

Inspired by the Land

Peter and his wife Patti O’Brien moved to New Hampshire in 2000. Before settling in New London, they spent several years on a farm in Canaan. You can see the move to New Hampshire reflected in the colors and shapes of some of his more recent paintings. In many works, the brighter hues of the state’s humid continental climate and dark granite surfaces replace the dusty desert pastels of his youth in New Mexico.

A friend recently gave him a pile of aerial maps of New Hampshire. Those maps have inspired an interesting new series. “I’ve become fascinated with maps,” Peter says. “They are another way of looking at landscapes from above.” His map-based monoprints, paintings, and iPad drawings bring together a dynamic mix of geometric and organic shapes. “Maps provide a different perspective while highlighting the tension between manmade and natural forms. The eye travels down straight roads and winding streams, it moves over lakes and mountains,” he says. While he doesn’t want to force a response onto the viewer, his overall goal is to create a sense of harmony. “In the same way that a listener responds to a piece of music, I hope that my work will give people a sense of peace,” he says.

Following His Creative Instincts

With a BA in English and an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management, Peter may not be your typical artist. He has taught English in Japan, worked in international banking, and founded a number of companies in industries ranging from textiles to technology. However, for more than 50 years, he has found the time, energy, and space to paint. While attempting to scale back his business to spend more time painting, he continues to play an active role as managing partner for the Black Iron Group, a systems integrator.

Without formal art training, Peter has always been free to follow his creative instincts. On the other hand, he has had to learn both technique and theory on his own. To that end, he spends part of every day, seven days a week, on his art.

Richard Diebenkorn and his Ocean Park series have had a critical influence on Peter’s work. Based on aerial landscape, Diebenkorn began the Ocean Park series in the mid ’60s and continued through the early ’80s. Painted during a time of turbulence and political upheaval, these very large abstract works combine geometry with gentle, tranquil colors to create a sense of quiet and calm. 

In addition to Diebenkorn, Peter’s work shows the influence of color field painters Helen Frankenthaler and Mark Rothko. With a growing interest in collage and combines, some of his newer works give a nod to pop artist Robert Rauschenberg. 

With a goal to create a sense of peaceful harmony, it’s not surprising that he finds inspiration from a diverse group of musicians. Classical, jazz, or folk, Peter and his work are influenced by the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Thelonious Monk, and the Esbjörn Svensson Trio.

Peter works out of a studio across from Whipple Hall on Main Street in New London. While he welcomes visitors, it is best to call first to make sure he is in and available. Alternatively, you can see his work at the Candita Clayton Gallery in New London, AVA Members Gallery in Lebanon, and Levy Gallery in Portsmouth. He will be showing at the Naturally New England show at the Livery in Sunapee Harbor in July and at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Fair at Mount Sunapee in August. Peter will be part of a two-person show at AVA Gallery in Lebanon in May 2024, where he will present a major portion of the Atlas of Memory series. He also participates in many Center for the Arts activities, including their Micro Galleries, Art Café discussions, and Open Studio Days. 


Peter Anderson Studio

428 Main Street

New London, NH

(603) 229-2629

Instagram @peter_anderson_studio

Facebook @peterandersonart

Find Peter’s Work at:

Candita Clayton Gallery
210 Main Street, New London

AVA Members Gallery
11 Bank Street, Lebanon

Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery at the
New Hampshire Art Association
136 State Street, Portsmouth

Learn more about the Center for the Arts artists, shows, and activities at

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