Peter Damon described his journey to become a professional artist, when he spoke to the Saturday morning, June 11, meeting of the SBAA (the South Boston Arts Association).
Peter was born and brought up in Brockton. He said he was a hard worker, who loved to work with his hands. He mentioned that he dropped out of high school. He then signed up with the Massachusetts Guard. After being activated, he was trained as a helicopter mechanic and sent to Iraq. An explosion over there took both of his arms – the right one above its elbow; the left, below the elbow. And his buddy was killed.
He had to undergo years of surgery, rehabilitation, and practice with his prosthetic left arm. Peter had been right-handed, but his left arm was less damaged, so he “switched hands”. He still had a yearning to work with his hands that never left him. He had lost his closest friend and had had a near-death experience himself. Peter still suffers from PTSD episodes, but also (and more important), his experience awoke his spiritual awareness. He took up painting. Art became a form of therapy, a route to dexterity, and ultimately, his profession as an accomplished creator and gallery owner.
Peter has mastered his medium. His general mode or school is American Realism, like Edward Hopper. He does mostly landscapes, seascapes, or “urbanscapes”. Peter’s paintings of boats show a real talent with the rendering of light and reflection. He and his wife have opened a gallery for his works. They call it “True Grit Art Gallery”. It’s at 39 Center Street in Middleborough (774-419-4160; truegritartgallery.com). Whether you are a collector or just want to decorate your home with a lasting work of art, it’d be worth a trip to see what he offers.
Peter’s talk was not only artistic in nature – it was inspiring as well.