Walt Peterson is at one with his brush… so connected; he feels the energy flow the minute he picks it up! A perfectionist at heart, he does his best to take his paintings to the very highest level of refinement and sense of reality, so to be able to share with the viewer an especially compelling artistic experience! He effortlessly captures the true essence of the sitter, so that their personality speaks to the viewer. This was an observation that a complete stranger conveyed to him recently.
Over the last 22 years he’s painted a diverse selection of imagery. From celebrities to CEO’s, marine life to sports art; and least not forget the hundreds of beautiful children he’s painted. In August of 2014 he began creating a new body of work focused on Equine art which has thoroughly consumed him and he has created some marvelous paintings.
Walt grew up in South Florida and knew he had a special ability to capture a likeness early in life. As he matured he continued to excel at art, but never really viewed portraiture as a viable career option. After receiving his AA at a local junior college, he chose Florida State University where he completed his education in graphic design and fine art. Shortly afterwards he began working as a free lance graphic designer.
In 1991 he was stricken with a stress related condition known as spastic dysphonia, which literally robbed him of his natural speaking voice. After voice rest and seeing the best ENT;s in the industry, Peterson came to the realization that it was time to defer to his God given talent. His transition into fine art required much less talking and more time working in solitude in the studio, honing his skills. He never imagined where this would take him; but through perseverance and spending thousands of hours crafting his technique, he was able to develop a very lifelike realistic style. For almost 4 years Walt’s voice sounded like he had a terrible case of laryngitis and it was painful to speak for any length of time. Then just as mysteriously as he lost it, his returned! By that time he had a handsome backlog of commissions and truly felt blessed and sensed there was a higher calling for him, with much bigger plans in his future! Yes the message was clear; he was destined and put on this earth to create beautiful art, which would bring joy and good feelings to all that see it!
In 2007 he relocated back to Boca Raton, Florida from Atlanta, to be close his family. Looking to diversify and add a little variety to his portrait work Walt created a small body of marine art, capturing both in shore and off shore species. He was fortunate enough to be selected out of 145 worldwide submissions as one of a handful of artist to be published shortly after in the December 2009 issue of Marlin Magazine recognizing him as a formidable painter of marine art. Peterson felt honored, in so much that was his very first Sailfish painting.
Over the past several years he painted a variety of new subject matter. Clarence Clemons told him; “You captured my soul” one year before his untimely passing. Bruce Springsteen also showed a genuine appreciation for the painting he did of him. In 2014 and 15 he completed a body of Equestrian paintings between his portrait commissions. Yes, Walt Peterson is at one with his brush and the energy is flowing. He’s looking forward to creating more wonderful paintings over the next year and beyond! Stay tuned!