My name is Peter Davidson, I am a self-taught artist born in the mining town of Ashington in 1968.

Tell us how you first started out as an artist?
As a young boy I showed great promise as an artist but never really did anything with it. After a 25yr sabbatical I decided to see if I was still any good and started sketching again for personal pleasure. Things just snowballed quickly from there.

What’s your background? What did you do before you were an artist?
I left school and went to work as a paint sprayer at Benfield Motors before moving on to work in heavy industry at Alcan Lynemouth Smelter. I was made redundant at the same time as my artwork was starting to take off, so I took a job at Thermo Fisher then my final “proper job” at Piramal Pharmaceutical. During my time there my artwork was becoming a full-time job in itself. Finally, something had to give so I decided to take the leap of faith and follow my dream.

Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do simply because I love it, this isn’t work at all, I also love the fact that through my art I can touch other people’s lives and bring happiness to others.

What inspires you?
My inspirations come from my recollections of growing up in this wonderful area in a time now long gone now and the beauty that often goes under the radar.

How would you describe your work?
My work is split in two, one which is very heavily based on nostalgia and memories of “playing out” as a young lad. The other is my very quirky take on iconic places in the region, where fact gives way to fiction a bit but still catches the essence of the subject.

Can you tell us what you aim to achieve through your art?
My aim of my artwork is to put a smile on the face of people and hopefully bring some happiness to them, either through reminiscing of times gone or the humour I try to put in my work.

How do you work?
My process starts with several ideas playing around in my head, I’m not an artist who strictly sticks to the plan though and I never sketch out a painting first. I let things naturally develop as the work comes to life, once the sky is painted pretty much anything can happen.

How have you developed you work?
My development has seen me experiment with many different mediums, I started doing pencil sketches and now paint oil paintings, I feel my awareness of composition has come more to the fore as my journey continues.

Who or what are your biggest influences?
The biggest influences in my career to date are a desire to maximise what talent I have and a curiosity to see how far I can take me artwork.

What influences from The North East have inspired your work?
I would say the single biggest influence from the North East in my artwork has to be “the back street” a place that was my playground and the home of some of my fondest memories.

What work are you most proud of?
The piece I’m most proud of is really tough to say, my own personal mantra is to try and make the next one better than the last, I may not always achieve it, but I try. I really don’t have a piece that stands out.

What has been your most challenging creation?
My most challenging creation would be the next one, as I said earlier my mantra is to constantly improve with each piece of work, to this extent my next piece is always my most challenging.

What’s your favourite piece of artwork?
My favourite piece of artwork is pretty much anything by Yorkshire artist Bob Barker. I love the mood he creates in his work.

What are your ambitions for the future?
My ambitions for the future are simple, keep getting better, continue improving my technique and understanding of the mediums I use and to continue bringing a smile to people’s faces.

What is your story with North East Art Collective?
Way back John was the very first gallery owner to give me a chance, to this day I owe him and North East Art Collective a great debt of gratitude, I have managed to stay in the gallery ever since and through the hard work the gallery and myself working together we have built up a good relationship and a strong body of work. The gallery is invaluable to the local artists of the region and deserves great credit. I’m very proud to be part of the North East Art Collective family.