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Christopher Peterson's Bio

Christopher Peterson's Biographical Information

Christopher Peterson was born in New York in 1957, and grew up in suburban Connecticut. His father was a salesman, and his mother was a clothing designer. After a moderately idyllic childhood, he went to art school in Boston, and then began his career as an Illustrator in New York City in 1980, after completing his education at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

Since moving to the Bay area in 1984, he has been a steady fixture on the scene, working in newspapers, advertising, exhibit design, teaching, concert posters, and as a painter.

His inspiration comes from several sources. The first is from the subjects themselves. Using the traditional skills of drawing and painting, he can observe and express not only the physical thing, but also the emotion in any given subject. Technically, any subject can be a beautiful opportunity to use paint, color and value to express the mulitude of effects that light, refection, shadow and cast shadow have on a subject.

Chris Peterson’s artistic inspiration comes from a tradition of American painting beginning with artists like N.C. and Andrew Wyeth, Charles Sheeler, Edward Hopper, John Singer Sargeant and Winslow Homer. His more contemporary influences are from artists such as Wayne Thiebaud, Chuck Close, Robert Cunningham, John Register and Richard Estes. He has always been fundamentally an illustrator though, and accordingly, has been influenced by such artists as Norman Rockwell, Milton Glaser, and James McMullan, but feels that it is important to be very discerning when choosing one’s artistic influences and prefers the traditional american realist painters.

It was not until after a serious mid-life crisis that included a divorce and the death of both parents, that life’s finite nature became more obvious, and he bagan to take his life more seriously. This was clearly reflected in the quality of his work, and it was at that point that Mr. Peterson began to get critical attention for his work. He has been published in the Los Angeles society of illustrators 35 and twice in Print magazine’s regioinal design annual. In 1995, he won the bronze medal for advertising in the San Francisco society of illustrators show, in1996 he won gold, silver, and bronze medals in the San Francisco society of illustrators show. In 1999 his poster for John Lee Hooker at the Fillmore won the gold medal for advertising at the San Francisco society of illustrators annual show, and was selected in the 41st New York society of illustrators show. He is in the US Air Force Art program and his client list includes The New York Times, Time magazine, Fortune, Readers Digest, Watson-Guptil books, Bill Graham Presents, Metropolitan Entertainment, Pacific Bell, Nickelodeon, Buick, Duracell, Heineken, Goodby Silverstein, McCann-Erickson advertising, Citigate, Macy’s, Ogilvy & Mather.

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