Childhood memories of the rugged beauty of our unforgiving Australian outback, elements of family history and an eye for detail combine to contribute to the works and success of Peter Mortimore – the artist. Traces of family history, interfaced with a love of horses, are reflected in the content of his works, with Peter’s Great Grandfather, a Master Farrier on the Bristol Tramways in England, losing his life whilst shoeing a difficult horse. His grandfather was an eight horse ploughman in England before arriving on our shores back in 1911. Peter Mortimore’s parents, his mother a champion lady rider and his father a young Presbyterian Minister, who tended his flock on a grey gelding, courted on horseback around his mother’s hometown of Dorrigo, in northern NSW. Peter’s interest in horses is ever present; his thorough understanding of their anatomy and intense interest in their behaviour ensures that his paintings portray them intricately, bringing each ones character to life, no matter the medium.
Although Peter’s subject matter is varied, a common theme emerges of the image of the Australian stockman and his mount, as well as the austere beauty of outback landscapes. Peter paints at his studio in Dubbo, and has enjoyed many successful exhibitions both throughout Australia and internationally. A self taught artist, Peter Mortimore spends quality time – often up to 100 hours – on a single drawing, and sometimes more on a painting. His works reflect his absolute eye for detail, and experience has shown that he is able to develop almost ‘photographic’ images of his subjects – a compliment he has enjoyed over and over, and one which provides him with a great deal of personal satisfaction. After attending Sydney University, Peter commenced working life as a Stock and Station Agent in Dubbo, where he met his wife, Ellen. His employment required him to move extensively throughout NSW and Queensland, where he often came across stockmen and drovers moving their herds throughout the countryside. Images of the countryside and its characters, reflecting those enjoyed by him as a boy growing up in Moree, are present in many of the works Peter produces today on a professional basis. Peter Mortimore and Carolyn Mortimore own two galleries, one in Bangalow known as the Windhorse, and the other in Byron Bay, known as the Blue Bicycle. These are art galleries come havens for artists, selling local art, jewellery and other crafts.