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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > December 18 > The life of Bath

The life of Bath

Peter Brown talks about the joys of working en plein air as he captures life on the streets of Bath, working in both charcoal and oils
Green Street, charcoal on paper, 20x16in (51x40.5cm)

Bath is a big part of my story. It’s where I was christened ‘Pete the street’, a nickname my friend and dealer David Messum really hates as it pigeonholes me – ‘You are a painter, Pete. Full-stop.’

I quite like it though; it has the air of the everyday and of not being too ‘arty’. It is a bit cheesy, and when I post a landscape on Instagram I often get the comment ‘You’ll have to call yourself ‘Pete the field’.

I have told the story over and over but after three years at art school and then two more years of pursuing modernism I came to a dead end and, for a good year, completely gave up on painting. When Lisa (my wife) and I moved to Bath in the early 1990s I walked along the Paragon, a street in Bath, thinking ‘I’d love to draw these streets’. This prompted me to get a sketchbook and charcoal from a local art shop and the rest is history. I worked solely in charcoal for four years, painting the streets of Bath and after ten years I self-published my first book Brown’s Bath, which shows a selection of my paintings from those first ten years.

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About The Artist

Welcome to the December issue of The Artist, packed with inspiring, practical articles and demonstrations from top professional artists, all designed to help you improve your drawing and painting skills and techniques. Whatever your preferred medium, there's something for everyone, from how to use wet-in-wet watercolour to capture the mists of autumn, paint a still life in oils over acrylics, use aerial perspective to create distance and atmosphere in your landscapes, to advice on coloured-pencil techniques for botanical subjects. Learn how to glaze your acrylic paintings for greater impact, capture the shimmering light and movement of the sea in acrylics, choose colours for maximum effect for your flower paintings, plus why not try setting up a contemporary still life for something different this month. There's an insight into 'Pete the Street' Brown's approach to working en plein air, Charles Williams' questions what we want from art, and Sally Barton explains how to paint portraits of people's houses to commission. We also include the latest art news and a host of information about competitions to enter, books and art products, offers and more for your artistic enjoyment.