Peter Inglis


Sketching is the one activity in my life that I enjoy most and prefer continuous 5-to-10-minute sketching which forces me to respond quickly to my subject.  As a result, to working quickly, my lines are more fluid and confident, and I am more able to capture the gesture and essentials of my subject with a primitive intent.  It is this that I find most satisfying in my work.

2010 to 2015 was an exciting time in my life as a sketch artist.  I was living in Brighton, MA which is a 20-minute walk to Harvard Square and is where I spent many weekends sketching the city life.  Harvard Square has long been a focal point for businesses, students and visitors, known for its arts and culture.  Harvard Square is a gathering place for street musicians and performers, and often attracts pan handlers.  This is one of the best places in Boston to people-watch, having many benches, terraces and sidewalk restaurants and cafes.  I enjoy sketching eccentrics, outcasts and the bohemian crowd.  A lot of interesting characters would congregate at Au Bon Pain's outdoor plaza to watch the chess players.  The Cambridge Center for Adult Education would offer an Open Studio for Life Drawing class for those interested in drawing from a model.  The Charles River is also close by where I would often go to sketch trees.

I hope my sketches will inspire people to enjoy the many public spaces that cities have to offer and the interesting and colorful characters that they attract.


Every life is a series of defining moments.  Moments that shape and change us and have a huge impact on our development and our choices.  They aren't easy to recognize when we are experiencing them.

What I like to call my defining moment: In the summertime, right after graduating from art school where I studied Painting from direct observation, I worked a daytime job shingling rooftops.  There was one rooftop in particular that caught my attention.  I had to stop what I was doing and try to comprehend what I was seeing.  I knew that it was something important and that I had to pay attention to.  There were these intersecting lines throughout the surface that acted as the backbone to this massive structure, breaking the surface up into a beautiful display of peaks and valleys, lines and planes, catching the sunlight at different angles.  I was fascinated by the clean form, perfect lines and flat planes.  I tried to see its simplicity.  After this moment I began to see more and more of this in my subjects, analyzing volume into lines and planes.

This image has lingered in my brain for all these years and has increasingly appeared in my artwork.  It's no surprise that I would eventually gravitate towards sculpture.  My figurative sculptures appear to be taking on a more structural and architectural quality.  By reducing the form down to a bare minimal of lines and planes seems to add more to the work.  It brings out a primitive quality that I enjoy.  I find myself seeking out this same quality in other artists' work.  I look for inspiration in Inuit carvings and Native American Zuni fetish carvings for their primitive qualities. I also look at post-minimalist sculptors and land artists such as Tony Smith, Joel Shapiro, Hans Steinbrenner, Richard Serra and Michael Heizer, who all share perfect lines and simplified form in their work.