PETER NARDINI PROFILE
Peter Nardini was born in 1947, the son of an Italian immigrant family.
His life reads like the lyrics of a song.
He was an active child and as a small boy he would love to get the A4 sized sheets of white card from the packaging in cartons of Cadbury's Chocolates from his father's Cafe in Hamilton and he would draw in pencil on them.
He loved art but hated school and as a result he left school at the age of fifteen and got a job as an apprentice watchmaker at a jewellers - it was like something out of Dickens. He also worked for a short period in retail and wholesale and regularly resisted his father's call to come and work for him in the family shop. At the age of nineteen he got married to Alison, who was eighteen. As it was a mixed sectarian marriage, they married without their respective parent's permission, leading to an almighty ‘blow up’.
As things settled Peter decided he had to 'screw the nut' and make something of his life. He went back to college and gained the qualifications that would allow him to enter the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) in 1970 at the age of 23. He studied there through to 1975 when he graduated. Famous fellow students included John Lowrie Morrison OBE (Jolomo), Helen Wilson RSW RGI PAI and the flamboyant actor Robbie Coltrane OBE. Peter studied illustration, printmaking, etching, lithography and latterly drawing and painting.
Key influences from this period were David Hockney's illustrations, English pop artist Peter Blake, Edward Hopper's 'people sitting around' American realism and Rothko's abstraction; influences that you can still see in Nardini's paintings to this day.
Nardini knows what he is looking for when he studies potential scenes - when he spots a subject he declares 'that's my painting'. His subjects have a compelling sense of the contemporary and this is cleverly created using a limited acrylic palette of six colours with a very unusual dry-brush ‘no water’ painting technique. He starts by preparing a black surface and then works to bring the light out from the surface creating a soft pastel effect. Peter avoids making any image too illustrated, graphic or too detailed by using larger brushes. These techniques ensure that his paintings have a unique signature and are immediately recognisable as a Nardini. His converts invariably become multiple collectors.
He knows what is expected of an artist and endeavours to create his own aesthetic values that are artistically honest, have an integrity and do not look in any way contrived. Nardini likes to 'paint a figure where the light can more or less express the posture of the figure, and what the person is thinking'. He likes to introduce landscape backgrounds with a strong contrast between the light and dark areas - perhaps the way the light is hitting a building or with long shadows . He also likes to view the figures from different positions with unusual perspectives.
Peter has a modest and endearing character - he has a lovely take on life. He likes to share his view of the world, whether it is an intimate ballet scene, a Los Angeles study or to reflect his long love affair with his beloved Tuscany. His paintings exude a comforting calmness and his subjects always have an appealing character.
He offers an enjoyable window into how he observes people and life.
Nardini relaxes by singing and playing at regular gigs. He is a very talented songwriter and musician having released five albums - 'A Think Your Great', ‘Is There Anybody Out There ?', 'Screams and Kisses', and his soon to be released 'Songs From the Shelter of a Bus Stop'. Like his paintings, his lyrics are wonderfully emotive, observational and honest. Hamilton's very own answer to the Proclaimers, or is it Bob Dylan ?