Peter always feels drawn to the abstract qualities of fragments in the landscape and in particular geological structures. He uses a range of natural earth pigments, clays, graphite, slate, marble and charcoal dust in his practice. He has mined ochres from 300 feet down the iron ore mine at the Clearwell Caves in the Forest of Dean and has also collected pigments on his travels in the UK and abroad.
Traces and landmarks are themes in which he explores marks left behind in nature and their possible meaning. Layers of gesso, plaster, pigment, etc. are applied to hand-made papers, plywood panels or canvas. Surfaces are layered with colours, revealing what is beneath the surface by scraping, rubbing, and sanding. The square format of the works and the inclusion of square shapes act as a metaphor for the essence of stability contrasting with what Peter Lanyon describes as; “the organic life in the surface”.
Pigments are also used dry by rubbing them into a soft acid free board. Any structural lines are incised into the surface with scribers. The resulting lines become a physical part of the work and holds the pigment within the grooves created.
Drawing is a regular part of Peter's practice and is used as an act of discovery as well as a preparatory process towards finished pieces. The works themselves are marks he leaves behind, and in that sense, are traces where he has been in the creative process.