About Artist Peter Durand

Peter’s Mother and Father met while going to an art school in New York and because of that both he and his brother and sister were encouraged to explore art from an early age. When World War II broke out his father joined the military as a pilot and continued on to make it a career. Peter was born in Germany while his father was stationed there and growing up as a military dependent gave him the opportunity to experience a wide spectrum of places to live. His father kept up with his art in most of his spare time and was able to teach and expose Peter and his siblings to the majority of art mediums from oils to sculpture.

By the time Peter finished High School he had participated in many art shows and State Fairs in Sacramento California and managed to win awards and have the satisfaction of selling his work. At this time he also discovered he could paint signs, which to his pleasure paid for his first car. After graduating from High School in 1966 the military draft came into full force and he wound up serving 4 years. The last year of his military service he was able to work part time for a professional sign shop.

While still young and searching for adventure he worked as a bill board painter when it was done by hand using a brush and paint and sometimes working as high as 70 feet off the ground. He had the pleasure of working as a lifeguard at a high end hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii which was frequented by famous people and actors.

He worked briefly in Oregon as logger and then for about 4 years was a member of the Merchant Marine working as a deckhand on river boats pushing barges on the Mississippi River from Minneapolis to St. Louis. That ended when he met his present wife which has turned into over 40 years of marriage.

The next two years were spent going to the College of the Redwoods in Eureka California as an art major and then his wife, Mary Jo, had a baby girl. Not long after Mary Jo became seriously ill and it was decided that they would move to Maui Hawaii to enjoy the climate and beauty. Peter had the pleasure of selling his paintings in galleries, working as a freelance illustrator, working in sign shops and eventually owning his own. After 20 years of living on Maui he moved to Las Vegas for more financial gain.

Working for a National Sign company as a designer he created designs for interior displays for casinos around the country and cruise ships. Las Vegas was good to him and he was able to live comfortably. He and Mary Jo enjoyed going deep into the surrounding desert and learned to see the beauty there. Even so, they missed the ocean. During this time Peters Father began to lose his sight and while Peter was visiting him his Father gave him all of his printing supplies and encouraged him to get into linoleum print making. Print making quickly became a break from the stress of commercial design and a pleasant obsession trying to reach the level his father had achieved. In less than a year Peter’s linoleum prints were accepted into juried art shows including one given by the Las Vegas Art Museum. Peter and his wife then decided it was time to have a serious vacation together that hadn’t happened in years and wanting to see something new and close to the ocean, they picked Whidbey Island.

After two weeks in a vintage cabin in the woods overlooking a bay, it was decided that it was time to be back close to the ocean. Peter and Mary Jo got a small house with a view of a quiet cove in a very small town before going back to Las Vegas to pack up and move to Whidbey Island in Washington. Peter spent the first couple of years freelancing to clients in Las Vegas and when the economy turned bad decided to sell his prints in local markets and festivals. He still does design and illustration on a small scale and devotes most of his time to fine art.