Peter F. Monaghan – Fine Artist

Elected to the Society 2021

I am a self-taught artist based in Witherslack, Cumbria. Trained as a forester and building surveyor.

Nature has always been a strong influence in my work, with its diverse textures and colours at all scales. I paint what interests or inspires me, regardless of subject. The relationship of men and women with their work environment has also inspired a number of paintings. I have been creating a series of works depicting craftsmen in Cumbria. This is a attempt to record local trade skills.

My work starts with a pastel sketch or photographs displayed on a screen so I can quickly get the qualities and position of the subject to be painted. I then sketch out a detailed pencil drawing on a primed wooden panel. I slowly work up the oil painting in thin layers, referring constantly to my reference material. All final paintings are created in my studio.

My work is detailed and I try to create form, depth, texture and movement with colour using different sized brush strokes and thickness of medium. I often use large areas of dark colour to create depth and to isolate the subject. I really enjoy the small things within a painting that add to the subject, such as bugs, tools or differently textured materials. In my portrait paintings I try to bring out the character of the subjects and their relationship to their surroundings. I just enjoy the challenges of trying to recreate what inspires me. I always try to instil a feeling of atmosphere or narrative for the viewer.

I work in both oil and pastel, pastel being the medium used in the sketches for the finished oil on wooden panel paintings. My painting are in private collections around the UK and internationally.

Finished paintings can be viewed online at