Introduction Contents Search Paintings Essays Interviews Shows Enquiries Email

(Gateshead Stuckists)


Introduction Text Paintings Large images



17.12.65 Born Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear
1970-83 St Aidan's RC School, Tyneside
1983- Started selling paintings and has supported himself by them ever since
1983-85 Bath Lane Foundation Course, Newcastle Upon Tyne
1983-89 Gallery assistant and then ran own Gallery 2
1989-92 Sunderland University BA Hons and "my arse well and truly kicked for being a figurative painter"
1990- Started exhibiting in commercial galleries
1992- Solo shows biennially - mostly sold out
2001 Started exhibiting with Mark Jason Fine Art, Bond Street
2003 Founded The Gateshead Stuckists as "a response to the Baltic's nihilism"
2004 Featured artist, The Stuckists Punk Victorian, Walker Art Gallery, for the Liverpool Biennial
2006 Go West show, Spectrum London
2007 Head of the Foundation course and the Fine Art lecturer on their BA course, Northumberland College

Peter McArdle lives in a Georgian farmhouse in rural Northumberland with a wife and two sons. He paints seven days a week, starting as early as 4am. He has chosen to distance himself from city "as a kind of sabbatical" in order to focus on painting. There are cows and sheep outside the kitchen window - because of which he ended up in casualty with Campylobacter. His studio is on the third floor of the farmhouse.

Working method

"I always paint with oil on canvas, which I prime and sand several times with gesso for a smooth surface. I sketch out in pencil and use a 000 (cat's whisker) sable brush to refine and define the sketch. Then I underpaint with burnt umber and glaze on top of that several weeks later - up to seventeen glazes. Paintings take six to nine months as an average. Usually a painting changes drastically in the last three or four months. At the final stage I reject around a third of the paintings."

"On a Theme of Annunciation" painting

"It's probably a lot to do with being brought up as a Roman Catholic, and a transitional moment in my life. Every Saturday night I went to confession. One day my father asked the priest to tell him his own sins. The priest clammed up and my father walked out of confession.. After that we left the church. Years later I went to Venice for a few weeks and I was confronted by all this religious imagery which brought back all the guilt. I was inspired by a Titian painting with a sexual element and also wanted to paint a contemporary annunciation. These things fused. It gets a bit more complex after that. The gun is symbolic of penetration yet also of protection. I expect the viewer to work hard. You need a certain understanding of history."

Web site


The text above has been adapted from The Stuckists Punk Victorian book (National Museums Liverpool)

back to top