Peter Kiidumae: Islands and Ravens


Opening Reception – Sunday, October 21 from 1-3 pm 

Artist Statement

I have been drawing in pencil since my childhood in the Australian outback where I covered my bedroom walls with drawings. Not until middle age did I start painting seriously when I acquired my home in Nanoose Bay with appropriate studio space. My painting process always starts with at least a pencil-drawn outline if not a more detailed drawing, and because I am legally blind without my glasses, I paint in a sharply focussed, realistic style in acknowledgement of the awesome gift of sight which I celebrate every morning when I put on my glasses.

This show includes two distinct groups of paintings, representing two different approaches to my depiction of west coast subject matter.

The paintings featuring islands are a natural reflection of my everyday life. My wife and I lived for almost 9 years aboard our 45-ft ketch in Vancouver and cruised the local waters extensively. Both our current Vancouver and Nanoose Bay homes face the ocean, and we travel between them by ferry almost every week. We see islands literally every day. The Island Series of paintings captures traditional landscape/seascape views of the west coast scenery that surrounds me.

The Raven Series is a change of direction in my work and only time will tell where that direction takes me. In contrast with the widescreen scenic views, my focus here is on the abstract qualities and patterns of smaller segments of our big natural world. My objective is to create interesting images of common subject matter by taking a non-conventional perspective and pushing the boundaries of traditional composition. Why the Ravens? Despite their impressive intelligence and non-aggressive nature, people tend generally to be uncomfortable about them, undoubtedly because of their size and solid blackness. They are there to provide an element of intrigue as well as establish scale and orientation.

Why do I paint? That used to be a tough question because I thought it warranted a deep answer. But the simple answer is I paint because I can. I paint because I love the challenge of creating space, depth, 3-dimensionality on a blank flat canvas. I paint to give pleasure to others, and ultimately, I paint because it gives me joy.

About Peter Kiidumae

Born in Europe to Estonian parents, at the age of four Peter moved to Australia with his family where they resided for ten years. Six of those years were spent in a remote outback area where Peter developed a keen interest in drawing. Moving next to Canada, Peter took art courses throughout high school and at the University of Toronto where he studied Architecture for three years.

After a 25-year hiatus from creating any art work while focusing on building a business career and raising a family, he moved to Vancouver. For almost nine years he and his wife lived aboard their 45-ft sailboat moored at Granville Island, cruising the scenic BC and Washington coastlines on weekends and vacations. During this time, he returned to pencil drawing and in 2004, began painting in acrylics, now his medium of choice.  In 2007, he was accepted as an Active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, and for the past 5 years has served on the Board of Directors.

Peter paints in his Nanoose Bay studio in a realism style covering a broad range of subject matter inspired by his British Columbia surroundings as well as his travels out of the country. His work can be found in many private collections across Canada as well as a few sailing magazine covers.