AT FIFTEEN, Peter Skidd broke curfew hanging out with friends and carving fascinating puppets out of couch foam. A dyslexic artist with a passion for all things art and science, Skidd found school largely abhorrent. He packed his free time with a (terribly messy) flurry of intricate science and art projects.
When it was time to think about college, he toyed with the idea of attending Cooper Union in New York but ended up with a philosophy degree from a micro-college in New Hampshire. Deciding to focus on art at 22, Skidd studied French academic figurative oil painting under Martha Mayer Erlebacher at the New York Academy of Art in Manhattan.
Post MFA, Peter, his wife and baby girl moved to Arizona and Peter took a job at an art company. He’s a self-employed artist now, selling his brightly colored abstract steel sculpture through galleries, designers, and art shows.
How did you end up way out in Arizona? My wife dragged me – her family is here.
How does one go from studying traditional oil painting to welding abstract steel sculpture? Accidentally. Once you dabble in metal, you get addicted.
When I work, my musical muse these days is September.
I wish I had time for all the projects I need to get to. I’ve got to figure out the battery issues with my golf carts.
My favorite artist is Carl Schmitt, my great-grandfather.
When I get a free minute, I’m going to clean out and organize my metal shop.
I’m currently reading holy books.
My top travel destination would be the Azores.
If I had an extra chunk of change I’d buy a super yacht. I’m fascinated by the boat designs and I crave the open water.
When I’m away from home at an art show, I usually dine on Trader Joe’s beef tamales.
In the metal shop, I wear rags. All my clothes constantly get ripped, burned, and paint-stained.
In my pockets, you’ll find a crucifix, iPhone, wallet, rosary, sewing kit, flashlight, Swiss Army knife, flip blade knife, extra 15 round magazine for my Glock 27, and a handkerchief. People make fun of me but I need it all.
My dream vehicle is a white diesel Range Rover. My wife wants a black one. We’ll have to get two.
I just found out about walking corpse syndrome.
When I grow up I want to be some type of engineer.
I’ve always wanted to go on a six-day desert hike out in the middle of nowhere.
Everyday in the studio, I use several rolls of Bounty paper towels while painting the art. My painting process includes lots of wiping the art down between applications of various liquids and paint.
I can’t live without my wife and five kids.
I’m addicted to Skittles – wild berry flavor. I pour them into my shirt pocket.
Right now, I’m totally into forklifts.