Artist Profile | Peter Collins

With an Audubon-like eye for the beauty in nature’s detail, Peter Collins added a storytelling quality to his work. His paintings incorporate his two passions: the study of natural phenomena and the creation of narratives.

Butterfly Koi

Butterfly Koi

He described his work as “naturalistic,” but acknowledged that it has a bent toward fantasy. On occasion, pure fantasy was the subject of his painting.

Peter was born and raised in Baltimore County, Maryland. He spent hours as a child hiking the woodlands, marshes and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay with his father. He considered himself a “true naturalist” and took pride in his knowledge of the natural world. It was knowledge he would continue to build over the course of his life.

Peter’s grandfather was a commercial artist and gifted painter. Peter began creating art in his grandfather’s basement studio when he was young, working in both two and three-dimensional forms.

Visits to the many galleries and museums in Washington, D.C. and the time spent discussing the masterpieces he saw with his grandfather imbued Peter with the language of art that allowed the expression of his naturalist tendencies.

Timber Wolf

Timber Wolf

With a BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where he was a faculty award winner, Peter returned to Baltimore to be mentored by fine artist and children’s book illustrator, Earl Lewis and Johns Hopkins University Professor of Medical Art, Tim Phelps Ph.D.

As an adult, Peter continued his study of nature and fed his artistic inspiration with regular trips to the Florida Everglades while he lived in Miami. Observation of plants and animals found in the aquaria in his home and the ponds, rivers, and bays he explored continued to serve as the catalyst for his work.

Peter defined himself by creating art. He aspired to becoming a children’s book illustrator and author. His life ended in 2010, earlier than it should have. His mother, Cassandra Collins, is managing Peter’s artistic legacy and is who has made this show possible.

When life stops, energy fades. And although she thought that working with his art was going to be difficult for her, Cassandra finds that once she gets involved with it she has no problem. The challenges of being the trustee of Peter’s work are the technical challenges all artists intent on building a business face — learning how to cut mats, cataloging his work and creating a publication that tells his story. She relies on a professional art photographer and printer to shoot the work for reproduction and to determine color values.

At the moment, the limited edition prints of the original watercolors are only available through Art Exposure. Cassandra has tried to take a step back and allow Peter’s art to drive the decision on what happens with it next.

Goldman & Minton, P.C. is proud to have the opportunity to show Peter’s work in its office gallery until the beginning of the new year. We welcome you to visit.

Island Hopping

Island Hopping

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16 thoughts on “Artist Profile | Peter Collins

  1. pat borg

    Dear Cassandra,
    Thank you for sharing some of Peter ‘ s art. It seems to come alive, it is very good. What a nice legacy he has left.
    Have missed seeing you when I come to Baltimore.
    A friend who remembers you,
    Pat

  2. Barb Mertens, Pastelist, Member, Laurel Art Guild

    This wonderful illustrator has borrowed some touches of the Orient. He does wonderful things with patterns of lights and darks and obviously has a whimsical sense of humor. It is a pleasure to learn of his work. I am sorry that he is no longer with us. BRM

    1. Kathryn Goldman Post author

      Barb,

      You’re right. Many of his images are whimsical, playful even. There’s one of monkeys flying through tree tops and you know they’re having fun. Thanks for the observation.

      Kathryn

  3. Elise Johnson

    I am one of the lucky ones to own an original Peter Collins work of art. A glorious painting named Koi for Elise. Peter was an amazing artist and young man.

    Elise Johnson

    1. Kathryn Goldman Post author

      Elise,

      Thank you for your comment. You reminded me that I need to add to the post that the originals are watercolor. Perhaps one day there will be a show of his original work.

      Kathryn

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