Peter Rotter is a well known landscape artist from Lakefield, Ontario. He grew up in Toronto, spending his summers and many weekends at the family cottage on Stoney Lake just a short twenty five minutes north of Lakefield. It is here that Rotter finds true inspiration for painting. “The Kawartha and surrounding areas are my muse”
Rotter says he began painting landscapes at a very young age. As a child he was “obsessed with a book on landscape painters”, and in particular, books about The Group of Seven were of interest to him. “Drawing and painting the north was just something I did growing up.”
His parents were always very supportive of his art, encouraging him with art classes on the weekends and art camps during the summer. “It seemed growing up, I was always the youngest kid with landscape paintings at shows in the Toronto area.”
Rotter studied design at the Ontario College of Art and Design and computer animation at Sheridan College. He went on to work in animation for a few years, and during this time he continued painting landscapes in the evenings and on weekends getting ready for upcoming art shows. “Eventually the painting took over. With my my work becoming popular, I couldn't keep up with demand with a full time Job. So I had to make a choice. It was an easy one. Painting all the way.”
A few years ago, Rotter made the decision to move his family from Toronto to Lakefield. Although he sometimes misses the energy of the big city, Lakefield has always been a source of inspiration for this artist and he has always wanted a studio here - “it just seemed like a natural homecoming.”
As for the paintings, well it all starts with a hike.
Rotter writes, “I am drawn to a particular place by a luminous colour, a certain slant of light, an interesting shape, or shadow, movement of sky, a memory of sound, smell and sense of ease.” He takes many photos on these hikes which he references for his paintings. He may use images from many photos and incorporate them into one painting. It all begins with a bend and a fold, manipulating the photos to isolate the point of interest. From there, a small sketch is started “looking for good colour and composition”, and if he likes what is developing, it is painted on a larger canvas.
“I have been known to plein air sketch on occasion, and find I do it more since I moved to Lakefield.” Capturing the landscape while being immersed in it makes the painting real to those that admire the work. These places are familiar, they hold a place in history for them, they capture that moment.
The cover art, Winter Warmth, is a place only a few minutes walking distance from the cottage on Stoney Lake. “It's always been a place in my heart growing up, as that was where I spent countless hours playing and discovering the forest. Close enough my parents wouldn’t worry. Perhaps it's no accident the sun hits that spot perfectly during that 10 minutes at sunset.”
Peter Rotter’s artwork can be found in collections all over the world; to see more of this artists work go to www.Rotterrotter.com