What makes an artist great? To paraphrase Tim Daly, “It’s as subjective as food”. This is true, but as a fellow artist (well, an ink-scibbler who mostly annoys friends and family with unflattering cartoons), I have a hard time believing anyone wouldn’t fall in love with Peter Huntoon’s near-magical ability to capture the beauty of Vermont with a brush.
He’s been painting professionally in oil and watermedia since 1994. A lifelong passion for art and his native state of Vermont are wonderfully evident in his work. Huntoon received his BA in Art from Castleton University. Peter was also the Color Group Manager at Sto Corp. (a world leader in architectural coatings) for 20 years. He has studied and painted with many contemporary masters including Stephen Quiller, Frank Webb, Zoltan Szabo, Cheng Khee Chee, Mark Boedges, Charlie Hunter, and Robert Sydorowich.
In March 2013, Peter launched A Day in Vermont. It’s a weekly love letter celebrating Vermont, one painting at a time. More than 10,000 subscribers from around the world now share this authentic, artistic adventure. It’s free to subscribe at ADayinVermont.com, and you might just win a free print!
Along with his artist wife, Mareva Millarc, Peter lives and works from his studio in Middletown Springs, Vermont. His work is represented in public and private collections around the world. He is also a founding signature member of the Vermont Watercolor Society.
“I’m consistent,” says Middletown Springs resident, Peter Huntoon. “I work like a dog. I like to underpromise and overperform. Sometimes I’m up at 4:00 a.m. to just to finish a painting.” In fact, Peter Huntoon is up at 4:00 a.m. almost every morning to paint or else to tend to tasks, simply because when he’s not painting, it seems he’s either framing paintings, packing them up for shipping, going to the post office to mail them away to buyers, or else tending to his website. Those tasks (he says painting consumes about 20-30% of his time) are all necessary components of his passion for painting, something he’s been engaged in for 30 years, and engaged in as a full-time vocation since he finally decided to leave his job six years ago.
“I left my day job in 2013,” he explains. “I figured I had a chance as an artist, so I thought up a job description for myself: Load up your truck with paint and brushes and go explore—and paint.” Almost every one of Peter’s paintings is auctioned off by him, with a set starting price, although he does do commissioned paintings. “I’m thankfully at a place where I can refuse [to take on] a commission if I want to,” he explains. As one looks about Peter’s tidy, well-lit studio and his many paintings—a feast of colors and varied renditions of Vermont landscapes, townscapes, barns and covered bridges that call out to the eyes it’s hard to reconcile the finesse of Peter’s skill with the brush with his humble demeanor: “I’m just making a living doing what I love,” he says with a shrug. “Sharing my love of Vermont is the end game.”