Peter Nixon was born in Lytham St. Annes in the county of Lancashire, England in 1956. As a child, Nixon was attracted to art despite no precedent in his family. He began drawing when he was 5 years old and aged 17 attended Blackpool College of Art and Design where he sharpened his skills and cultivated an interest in the human figure. The human form coupled with an interest in the abstractions of Cubism sparked new developments in Nixon’s style, amalgamating into a compelling artistic experience.
“Human beings don’t sit still as statues, they’re moving, breathing things, and it was that element that I wanted to create in the pictures, and that, coupled with a love of cubism, became the foundation of what I call the ‘sketch style.’”
Over the years, Nixon has utilised the dynamism and fluidity of music as a source of inspiration when trying to portray the energy and movement of the human figure. Nixon continually absorbs inspiration from the world around him, “experiences and memories go into a kind of mental soup in my head, to be combined and transformed” he says. He draws inspiration from the Renaissance master paintings in Venice, literature, music, Science, and Memory. He is particularly inspired by Picasso, Titian, Bellini, and Veronese, as well as
London itself is also a great source of inspiration for Nixon, brimming with history, culture and art galleries that constantly juxtapose ancient and modern elements. While he occasionally thinks about leaving for the countryside, he says there is no way he could leave everything the city offers behind.
Inspirations and memories like these help the artist to continually re-develop his style. Recently, Nixon looked back to the time, aged 9, when he first experienced Da Vinci’s drawings and was stirred by this memory to create a style based around Leonardo’s “sfumato,” or smoky technique. Leonardo’s drawings known as “carta una,” or ‘first sheet’ were preparatory drawings for Frescos – Nixon combines this with similar effects achieved in Etching to create a new approach.