Peter Samuel trained for years as a painter, although his early gallery shows in Philadelphia focused on sculptural works of constructed pieces – lumber, plaster, found materials - and always painted and painterly.
Samuel attended graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania and became a licensed Landscape Architect. In the mid-90s, in a return to image making, he adopted digital technology, using the computer as a tool to create images. These pictures could be quickly realized and printed out in color-like silk screens or monoprints. His training as a landscape architect would later influence his focus on landscapes, and his process is also reflective of his graphics and draftsman training.
When Samuel first started using digital media to create artwork, most of his image making comprised elements from nature. After capturing the images digitally, he manipulated the final pictures as collage in the computer – cutting them apart, reassembling, adding color panels, and then creating final compositions. This was the beginning of what later would become a keystone of Samuel’s work, taking an image apart and then reassembling it, not dissimilar to making sculptures, and a critical process for developing a final image.
In 2005, Samuel returned to working from the figure and making still life drawings. Using digital media as a sophisticated tool, he experimented with ways to combine the two. This resulted in using the print as a base and then adding color or line with acrylic paint or pastels. This was a precursor to the larger paintings that came later, where it is often difficult to determine the various steps involved in creating the final image.
Samuel created a blog Not Just Pears as a vehicle to display his drawings and compositions. By March 2008, he had committed to producing one image a day for the blog post. After a year of making small images Samuel was eager to expand his format and looked for a way to keep up the daily routine and also combine his 30 images into one larger picture at the end of the month. These images are mounted on canvas, wood panels, aluminum sheets or cloth and further manipulated with paint and other media. Samuel continues to expand on this process with his year-long series.