Peter Sheppard grew up in coastal Massachusetts, where his father introduced him to fishing and the outdoors. From a long line of sportsmen, Sheppard learned early to respect nature and appreciate its beauty. His father was not only an outdoorsman but also an avid collector of sporting art, so young Peter grew up admiring and eventually studying the works of great sporting artists such as Ogden Pleissner, Brett Smith, Michael Stidham, and Luke Frazier. He also found inspiration from past masters, such as Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet, and Andrew Wyeth.
Since attending college in Gunnison, Colorado, Sheppard has been intimately involved with nature. After obtaining his U.S. Coast Guard certified Captain’s License, he started his own guiding service, Rusty Fly Fishing Charters, in 1998, dividing his time between the waters of Key West and Nantucket. A committed conservationist, Sheppard always has promoted the philosophy of catch and release. He has traveled extensively, fishing and hunting (or tasting wine out of barrel) in order to renew his awe and cultivate his appreciation for nature’s beauty — the beauty he seeks to capture on canvas.
Sheppard endeavors to paint nature with raw authenticity and brings a seasoned guide’s eye for subtleties to his art. He can spy a fish’s shadow racing in the shallows beneath the kaleidoscopic undulation of the waves. He observes how the creature reacts, how it stalks, when it spooks, or strikes, leaps, and looks when released again into the wild. He records on his canvas the minute details of the scene at hand, offering a keenly sensitive perspective upon nature’s ever changing, always fascinating continuum.
Though primarily self-taught, Sheppard has painted with several well-known contemporary artists. His paintings begin by first experiencing his subject and taking photos. He then studies photographs and composes an arrangement that is precise and realistic. Sheppard has always relied only upon his free hand drawing and painting to compose and complete his artwork. Now working primarily in water-soluble oils, Sheppard also has utilized watercolors and pen and ink to create his art.
Sheppard lives in Teton Valley, Idaho, where his studio sits in the foothills of the Teton Mountains. He is inspired by the beauty of his surrounding landscape and seeks to celebrate the glorious pleasures of sporting life through bold compositions, vivid brush strokes, and evocative contrasts of color. He is married and has two young daughters and longtime companion, Albee, a border-collie blend.