"Antonia's paints beautiful sand and ocean scenes that will easily take you to your favorite vacation at the beach. I think I can even feel the sand in my shoes and the sound of the ocean. She paints serene pieces but also very active pieces. I find her work to create an almost zen like atmosphere - peaceful and serene. Some show power with the crashing and breaking." Mary Martin
Antonia Tyz Peeples and Martin Eichinger
"Prancer" 36x36 oil on linen
"Rolling In" 36x36 oil on linen
"After the Rain" 36 x 48 oil on linen
"Rambler" 30 x 30 Oil on Linen
"Growing up in an artistic household, I have been drawn to art for as long as I can remember. My mother was a painter and my father was an amateur photographer. They always encouraged my artistic drive. I took painting lessons from several local artists from age 10. After high school, I continued at Eastern State University and Silvermine Guild of Art in New Canaan, Ct.
Through the years, I developed skill in a variety of mediums. In the last 5 years or so, I have returned to my earlier realistic style in oil paint. I have made painting the ocean and its shores my focus, choosing it because it is such a universal part of our existence. It is both nurturing and consuming. There is a certain feeling of connectedness when sitting by its shores. The endless rhythm, power and mystery of the sea course through our very veins.
I take a bizzillion photos at the shore .I enjoy studying the waves and water surfaces, seeing the patterns and designs that reveal themselves. I love to see all the different shapes that water can take and the colors that happen both in light and shadow. Photography helps me to really stop and study these designs. I am struck by how they are repeated through all of nature, in the sand, the clouds, the patterns on plants and animals alike.
Power, magnitude, serenity, calm, beauty, clarity, rhythm, and discovery are some things I think about as I create a new piece. When composing a painting, I emphasize the part I enjoy looking at the most .I use the knowledge gained from my photos and fuse that with my imagination and memories. Using composition based on the Golden ratio, I create paintings that are timeless .I strive to allow the viewer to reflect on their own memories." Antonia Tyz Peeples
"My paintings are developed through a cumulative process. Particular images and light in subject matter stay in my conscious and subconscious mind some times for years before I decide to use them in my art. Many times I sketch an idea repeatedly through time until it solidifies into an image I can translate on canvas.
MI work with composition and the simple beauty of light and shadow. I want to engage the viewer with both initial content and attention to detail.
My artistic goals are to explore the world through my eyes and share my vision through my paintings. I am looking to create a time and space for the viewer to reflect on their own memories.
My most significant accomplishment to date has been to paint a subject that not only intrigues and enthralls me but seems to connect with many viewers in a universal way.
I create art out of the true love of creating. The alternate reality of focus and serenity that I experience when I create is rarely obtained in the external world. I suppose it could be termed a type of meditation. Beyond that, the drive to connect with others on a visual level is always rewarding and expanding."
A Newspaper for Women
Article about Antonia
Artist Antonia Tyz Peeples rides the waves of success
By Betty J. Cotter
Published 12/11/2012 12:00 AM
Antonia Tyz Peeples works in the studio of her home in Lebanon.
Sean D. Elliot photo
Antonia Tyz Peeples works in the studio of her home in Lebanon.
Every morning at 9 o'clock, coffee in hand, Antonia Tyz Peeples comes to the converted playroom in her contemporary house in Lebanon. As the sun streams in from a skylight, she sets to work: creating intricate, realistic large-format paintings of waves in motion.
Tyz Peeples' artwork is so successful she has finally quit her day job at an art gallery in North Smithfield, R.I., to devote herself full time to painting. The wave paintings have earned her four solo shows at a Rhode Island art gallery and are now in galleries from Cape Cod to Charleston, S.C.
Tyz Peeples has been waiting for these days for a long, long time: Since she left art school after one year, no longer able to afford the tuition; through the early years of painting people's pets and houses, anything to make a living by her brush; through decades of raising a family and teaching art to senior citizens — all while squeezing painting in when she could, and having a picture or two in this or that art show.
While she will still work one day a week at the Charlestown Gallery, in Charlestown, R.I., where she has had those solo shows, Tyz Peeples recognizes that she has turned a momentous corner in her artistic life.
"I'm very excited. That was my dream, to paint full time, and I'm living the dream," she said on a recent summer morning.
And it all came in on a wave.
About five years ago, Tyz Peeples turned her eclectic attention to the ocean. Her first attempts were muted, diffuse, as though the artist was not yet ready to tackle her subject with the detail and clarity she brings to it now. Standing before one of those early paintings, "Sand, Sea, Sky," she recognizes how her art has developed since then. "That was when I was first starting. I was just getting the idea – large ocean – that was my idea."
But examine her recent work, and there is no comparison. The waves are lenses into some other world, a mix of lemons, limes and blues laced with veins of white froth, like panes against stained glass. The spray arcs up with the animation of a human figure dancing. In fact, one of her paintings is called "Primal Dance," a wave double breaking whose geysers of spray could be human figures reaching for the sky.
At her most recent solo show, one of the most popular canvases was "Diamond Fest," depicting night at Napatree Point in Watch Hill. It was a perspective she had tried to capture in the past, but only now did she seem to have the technical experience, and perhaps the insight, to make it happen.
Valerie Nixon, an art dealer from Crofton, Md., who's known Tyz Peeples for about seven years, describes her style as "photo realistic plus," the accuracy of photography blended with the emotion of the experience. "It's something that's very ephemeral," she said. "It evokes the same emotional reaction that a person has when they're at the beach."
The work starts not in the studio but along the shore, mostly in Rhode Island from Westerly to Narragansett, with Charlestown being a favorite spot. Tyz Peeples does not paint on location, but she takes dozens of photographs to bring back to her studio. These she files in manila folders with names like "Possibilities." She slashes crop marks on the prints, looking for views that can be combined into a fictitious place where the photograph will end and the painting begin
The first step is to find "the golden section," creating a mathematical grid on the bare canvas according to da Vinci's theory of the ratio of space most pleasing to the human eye. The ratio's formula is eight-thirteenths of any space; on a 36-by-36-inch canvas, Tyz Peeples draws lines, two horizontal, two vertical, each, according to the formula, 22.15 inches from the edge. The resulting grid, dividing the canvas roughly into horizontal thirds, shows her what areas to focus on and what areas to avoid.
"Never the center; the center is the worst," she said. Instead, she focuses interest off-center and in the top and bottom thirds of the canvas, so there is always something of interest moving the eye around the painting.
In her studio, where the carpet is sand-colored and the walls as blue as the waves, she can paint for hours, as dance electronica music on the CD player takes her to a zone of concentration. She is in the middle of composing a view of the dunes at Napatree Point, with a path from one photo, overlaid with autumn dune grasses from another. The painting is one of two commissioned by Mary Martin Fine Art in Charleston, S.C., a gallery she's just connected with. Other recent commissions include Wynne Fine Art in Chatham, Mass., and the tony Copley Society of Art in Boston. A far cry from those early, struggling days.
She was born Antonia Tyz in New Britain. Her father, Walter, was an amateur photographer and prison guard who shot news photos of the deadly Hartford circus fire. Her mother, Susan, who died when Antonia was 15, was an Impressionist painter who devoted most of her energies to raising Antonia and her brother.
When Antonia was 8, the family moved to Stafford Springs so her father could work at the new prison in Somers. That was the age, too, when she started drawing and painting, taking after-school classes, encouraged by her mother, whom she describes as her "best friend."
"She was eclectic. My father was a lot more traditional," Tyz Peeples recalled. Still, she received an artistic legacy from both parents. "Whenever we went anywhere, he had the camera." She would hold the white board for him to get the perfect exposure, and she learned about how to chase the sun, and the right time to shoot.
When it was time to go to college, she enrolled in every art class at Eastern Connecticut State University that she could find, but art was not offered as a major, and she didn't want to go into teaching.
She left after two years and enrolled in the Silvermine Guild of Art in New Canaan. "It was a very intense experience. The art teachers were great; it was very out-of-the-box at the time."
After one year, short on funds, she decided to leave the two-year program, even though one of her professors tried to talk her out of it. "I appreciated his talk, but I left because I just couldn't afford it," she said.
With her first husband, she moved to Rhode Island, where she raised three children, taught art for a recreational program, and was exhibited at a number of galleries. Ten years ago, she was happy to sell a painting for $750.
When she began to hit with the wave paintings, no one was more surprised by her success than Tyz Peeples herself. And when she sold a painting at the Charlestown Gallery for $10,500, it was hard to wrap her mind around it. "For ten grand – I want to drive it and it's got to have AC and a good speaker system," she joked.
When told recently by a Cape Cod gallery that her paintings could command three times that figure, she was reluctant to increase the price. "I appreciate it, because I've gone through my car looking for money for milk," she said. "But I'm not out to gouge anybody."
Her husband, Bruce Peeples, couldn't be prouder of his wife, but even he is astounded watching people clamor for her work – going so far as to sign a waiting list for a painting that's already spoken for
"She gets that 'something' that triggers in people a tremendous emotional response," Nixon said. "People actually fight over her paintings. I've seen it happen."
She may be uncomfortable with commerce, but Tyz Peeples is grateful, too, recognizing that this new popularity has put her in a position to do what she wants: walk into that blue-walled studio every day, pick up a brush and paint.
"I've waited so long for this. I'm in a hurry. I feel like five years of painting with these waves was a moment. … I really appreciate every minute."
Mary Martin GALLERY
103 Broad Street,Charleston, SC 29401 843-723-0303 Gallery Row on Historic Broad Street
Selected as best gallery in South Carolina 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Selected as one of the top twenty-five galleries in America 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.
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