In 2014, on reaching the age of 70, Peter Hearsey felt it was time to stand back and take stock. He indulged a love of vintage boats by going sailing for a week on a 30foot gaff sloop on the Norfolk Broads in the east of England. Also in 2014 he relinquished the commission for producing the Goodwood Festival of Speed poster image. This had begun in 1993 when a phone call came out of the blue from Lord March asking if he would like to be involved in the event. However, after 22 Festival images, some of which ended up being completed with a trip to Goodwood to apply the finishing touches in Lord March's office, Hearsey felt it was time to pass the baton to another artist. It turned out to be Klaus Wagger – another AFAS member!
1993 was the year Hearsey was elected to the AFAS and he and his wife Anne have made the journey to California to Pebble Beach many times since then. Winning an Athena award five times, he was commissioned to do the Pebble Beach Tour poster in 2009 featuring an Alfa Romeo TZ2 and in 2015 the main Pebble Beach Concours poster. This poster was unusual in that it was an action scene showing the Ferrari 166MM of Jim Kimberley in the 1951 Pebble Beach Road Race.
Etching is a medium that Hearsey really enjoys and the Rolls- Royce Silver Ghost image shown here is one of his latest subjects. Whilst an etching is a "print" each image is unique. This is because after the artist has created the plate (drawing in reverse so it will print the right way round) each print taken depends on the way that the artist inks up and wipes off the surface of the plate before running it through the press.
Over the years Hearsey has fulfilled commissions from Rolls-Royce, Ford, Aston Martin and McLaren amongst others and in the Isle of Man where the Hearseys' live, the TT motorcycle races have featured strongly in his work – developing an enthusiastic client base around the world for both prints and original paintings. Producing artwork for stamps for the Isle of Man Philatelic Bureau has been an interesting process with subjects ranging from motor racing to vintage ploughing to Polar exploration!
Recent automotive commissions have featured a "C" type Jaguar competing in the Carrera Panamericana road race and a 1926 Delage, and at the end of 2016 Hearsey had work featured in an exhibition at the Royal Automobile Club in London. However, he still feels he has a lot more to learn and whenever Hearsey and his wife are in London they always visit an exhibition or two. The Richard Diebenkorn retrospective at the Royal Academy was fascinating (whilst at the Academy he enjoyed taking part in a Life Drawing session – sitting on the same benches as the likes of Turner, Gainsborough and Stubbs etc) and from another era the Rembrandt portraits were a revelation when seen up close.
Going forward he will be devoting more time to exploring the various techniques involved in etching and applying these to a long term project recording a collection of long abandoned farmsteads or "Tholtans" up in the hills of the Isle of Man, and of course he will continue to paint and to produce etchings of automotive subjects as he has over the past 30 years.