Thursday, July 18, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Peter Etril Snyder

“If you can see it, you can paint it,” says Pine Ridge Art’s newest artist Peter Etril Snyder.

 Anyone who follows his work realizes that he takes on many unusual commissions, his most extraordinary being the creation of a dinosaur (Parasaurolophus) painting for the Earth Sciences Museum at the University of Waterloo.

Commissioned Painting for Earth Sciences Museum

Peter’s paintings are influenced by his Waterloo childhood. Both of his grandfathers were Mennonite farmers and were regular vendors at the Waterloo market, which stood in the spot now occupied by the Waterloo Public Library. His small town and Mennonite background, riddled with practicality and rural interest, sparked the starting point for a singular career in painting and presenting his work to the public in his own gallery.

Peter and his wife have travelled to many parts of the world, including parts of Europe, North and South America, Africa, the South Pacific, New Zealand and even Iceland. His travels have brought him many new and interesting ideas.

“For me the act of painting is a pleasant puzzle. I relish the challenge of manipulating the visual information. My attempts are to create something that rings the artistic bell inside me. I remake or transform topics through my aesthetic insight.  Only after I have had my way with the elements of a painting, am I ready to offer it out to others.”

Pine Ridge Art
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For over forty years Peter has specialized in paintings of the more conservative Mennonite communities. His paintings of the horse-powered groups are by far the most interesting. They represent a historic view of what used to be in Ontario but still exists in this little piece of the Waterloo region.  It hasn’t been easy to make contact with many of the individuals in these conservative groups because of their wish to be left alone and their reluctance to be photographed. It has required a great deal of time to build even a small bridge of trust. Peter values the friendships that he has built up over the years with many of these folks.

Peter loves working with people who paint and encourages fans of his artwork to email him with questions or comments. He finds it very interesting to hear the many remarks about his work and how his paintings relate to each individual’s personal experiences. He is so adamant in helping that he serves as a mentor through “Painting Doctor.” He offers a free-email service to any painter who wishes help with their work. Peter has been providing this service since January 2010 and enjoys it very much.

For more information on Peter Etril Snyder please visit his website at