January Demonstrator, Peter Kalill

Peter Kalill will demonstrate his oil painting technique for the Guild of Harwich Artists at their January meeting.  The meeting will be held Saturday, January 20, 2018, at 2:00p.m. at the Harwich Community Center, 100 Oak Street.

It’s usually difficult to pinpoint the reason the work of an artist changes, but for Peter Kalill, it was as simple as a plane flying overhead.

“People say, ‘You paint plein air,’ I do not,” he says, while pacing the length of his studio, which he built behind his North Eastham home. “I say I paint outside.”

It was while he was outside, painting an angular house in Wellfleet, that everything changed. A plane flew overhead, leaving behind contrails, lines that crossed the sky.

“There were a bunch of these going through the sky, and it looked funky and cool,” he says. He painted them into the skyline of the study. “And then I went back to the studio and ruined it by painting the way I always paint.”

He put that study aside, started anew, and came up with “Geometric Sky.” The purple, blue and white lines that crisscross the sky and each other affected the way Kalill painted the trees behind the house, which are folded into themselves like origami umbrellas. The house is largely representational, because of its own exaggerated shapes. This new geometric style of work is bolder than Kalill’s representational paintings — they are more striking than typical landscapes.

“And then I just got interested in simply the shapes,” Kalill says.

Though he lives in Eastham, he often paints further out on the Cape, and is a member of The Beachcombers, an artists-only club that was started in the early-1900s by renowned painters Charles Hawthorne and Edwin Dickinson, among others. Kalill’s paintings reflect that era, and more recent times that see artists and fishermen disappearing from the area

Peter Kalill can be reached by email at petekalill@gmail.com or by phone at (508) 240-4426.