Painter Peek to have Starving Artist premiere | ParkRecord.com

Painter Peek to have Starving Artist premiere

Bob Peek has been painting houses in Park City for more than 25 years.

Although he loves to use his talents to create fine visual art, he formed his company R.L. Peek Painting so he could make a living,

"It became apparent to me early on that I needed to support my kids and their needs," Peek told The Park Record. "To do that, I needed a regular, sustainable job and didn’t really feel I could justify the thought of being a full-time artist, but I’ve always dabbled and played around with art."

The Starving Artist Exchange, 283 N. Main St., in Kamas, will present Bob Peek as the featured artist during its First Friday event on Friday, March 2, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Peek said his hobby is a way to enjoy the creative process, which allows him to "let off some steam."

"I like painting the human form and it’s not for the sake of just painting the form, but more in the lines of capturing something that is exuding some soulful story about what I see in the figure," he said. "I like painting soulful characters that have something to express physically, without having them say any words."

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Although he appreciates the classics, Peek said he doesn’t have any artists he looks up to.

"I’ve taken some workshops from Utah artists, and have been inspired by their teachings, but, really, I’m not influenced by one in particular as far as famous painters go," he said. "I’m easy. When I see beautiful things, I’m inspired and I’ll go and paint."

Peek approaches his works as he would a puzzle.

"A piece starts off as line drawing and works its way to shadow and light," he said. "I really enjoy that process."

When he gets into a jam, he relies on some special assistants for help.

"Sometimes I look at something and am not sure what’s wrong with it," he said. "I can see the subtle highlights and lowlights of an image, but then have a hard time seeing something, so I’ll grab my kids and ask them what they see. Ten seconds later, they’ll give me a critique that will break down the image and tell me what’s wrong."

In addition to expressing himself, Peek said the meditative aspect of painting is what keeps him coming back for more.

"I become fully in tune with the work and find myself following one course and one path for hours, without being distracted," he said. "That’s a huge benefit to me, and it is, honestly, the biggest motivation for me to do this."

Before the Starving Artist Exchange was established, Peek got to know co-owner Katie Stellpflug.

"She used to work at an internet café," he said. "I tend to drink a lot of coffee and went there often and got to know her before they opened the Starving Artist."

When Stellpflug joined forces with Alisha Niswander and Cassidy DuHadway to open Starving Artists, Peek took in a couple of his paintings.

"They kept telling me they wanted to do a show," he said. "I wanted to join them and it’s all been pretty exciting ever since. The Starving Artist Exchange is a great community effort that gives an opportunity to people to show their work."

For Friday’s reception, Peek will present 10 paintings, but said he’s not in it to make money.

"I basically paint to fill spaces in my house, and I don’t paint art to try to make a living at it at all," he said. "My intention isn’t to make money. I typically don’t sell anything, but I’ll trade people pieces, because, for me, my house painting business is the way for me to make a living.

"I don’t want to put a dollar value on my art, because even though that puts a value on the work, it devalues the reason and the motivation as to why I do them," he said. "The payment I get through my art is feeding my soul.

"That said, I would like to eventually transition out of my painting business some years down the road, to do some bigger shows, but nothing is really on the radar," he said.

The Starving Artist Exchange, 283 N. Main St., in Kamas, will present Bob Peek as the featured artist during its March First Friday free reception on March 2, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.thestarvingartistexchange.com .