Peter Seal British, b. 1959

Peter Seal is a Scottish artist who was born and grew up in Perthshire. He creates abstract collages, paintings and sculptures of subtle eloquence. Seal has been based in Manchester for over three decades having trained at Manchester Polytechnic in the 1980s following a Fine Art (BA) at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee.


Over the years this artist has built up a strong reputation for his serene and powerful abstract paintings with their beautifully crafted surfaces and geometric shapes. Peter Seal says of his paintings that they "don't have an answer - they are not crossword puzzles". The artist is keen to assert that although there may be subliminal references to the world of appearances, there are no explicit external reference points. Colour and form alone create a subtle, meditative engagement which in turn evokes a variety of moods. Seal is inspired by literature, poetry and music. Often the titles of his paintings come from songs or poems. Artistic influences include Ellsworth Kelly and Matisse.


The artist works on a number of pictures at once using different sizes to ensure a range of focus. Seal's paintings result from a process of deconstruction and reconfiguration. Each picture begins with a preparatory drawing and the artist then puts down an enlarged version of this image in acrylic paint on canvas. The paintings are slowly built up in layers of oil paint then each allowed to dry before the next layer is applied. This gradual layering creates an intensity and clarity of colour. Once dry, Seal takes the canvas and cuts it into sections which are then stitched back together to form an entirely new compositional arrangement.


These paintings of minimal geometric forms are the product of sustained contemplation but are works of immediate dramatic quality. Pictures of simplicity and strong colour but also of great variety in line, edge, surface texture and the inter-relationships of positive and negative shapes. Integral to all of this is the physicality of paint and colour, both its integrity and vibrancy. 


Peter Seal also creates small monochrome collages as a way of exploring composition. These collages are made from pieces of paper painted in black ink. These organic shapes are cut up and rearranged in new arrangements. This has consequently led to a series of larger black and white compositions on canvas.