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Corner Brook man enjoying his adventure in art

Peter Lathwell stands next to his self-portrait that is among some of his artwork currently on display in the Open Gallery space at the Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook.
Peter Lathwell stands next to his self-portrait that is among some of his artwork currently on display in the Open Gallery space at the Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook. - Diane Crocker
CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

A couple of years ago Peter Lathwell was looking for something to do.
His wife, Anna Maynard, had her sewing to keep her busy and there was only just so much walking that Lathwell could do around Corner Brook.
So, he decided to give art lessons a try and started out to learn to paint with a friend.
“But I soon wanted to try something on my own and it went from there.”
What Lathwell, 75, tried was drawing with pencils or graphite.

Peter Lathwell drew this portrait of his great-granddaughter, Sophia Wilton, from a photograph. It’s among his work currently on display in the Open Gallery at the Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook. - Diane Crocker
Peter Lathwell drew this portrait of his great-granddaughter, Sophia Wilton, from a photograph. It’s among his work currently on display in the Open Gallery at the Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook. - Diane Crocker


Some of his work is now on display in the Open Gallery at the Rotary Arts Centre as part of an exhibition titled Still a Work in Progress.
He laughs a little when asked what he enjoys about drawing.
“Oh, just getting lost in my little world. It’s as simple as that. You start drawing and it’s as if nothing else exists or your problems seem to disappear into nowhere,” he said.
“You don’t think about something that bothers you. When you do think about it later things become more clear and the solution is there.”
His first venture into pencil drawing was a portrait of his wife. Quite pleased with how it turned out he went on to create other portraits of family members. His most recent works contain a signature marking of his with three little birds hidden in them.
Among the eight drawings and paintings he’s got on display at the Rotary Arts Centre are a self-portrait and one of his great-granddaughter, six-year-old Sophia Wilton, and a painting of a boil up scene.
Lathwell is a member of the Creative Circle, a group for seniors that meets at the First United Church.
The group is facilitated by local art therapist Sandra Hewitt-Parsons. She also runs a group in Deer Lake and a Community Art Group in Corner Brook.
Lathwell said he got involved because he thought he might learn something and also saw it as an opportunity to get together with people interested in art. He’s found something more in the friendships he’s made with other members of the group. 
Showing the work of the groups is something Hewitt-Parsons encouraged and Lathwell was interested in as he figured it would give him some exposure as he’d like to start selling his drawings.
Whitney French is the gallery co-ordinator at the Rotary Arts Centre. She said the space in the Open Gallery is available to community members, emerging artists and even more established artists who want to display their work either as individuals or as a part of a group.
Sometimes people can be intimidated at the thought of showing their work and French said the Open Gallery offers them a space to get started.
“It’s kind of a bridge between more formal gallery spaces. An in-between.”
It’s a space that’s accessible and where people can gain confidence, she said.
The space, which is essentially a hallway at the centre, wasn’t always filled with art, but French said that has been changing recently as she’s put a push on to encourage more people to show there. She has bookings for the space right up to March 2020.
The Still a Work in Progress exhibit will be up until around Aug. 27. 

diane.crocker@thewesternstar.com
Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker

This portrait of Peter Lathwell and his wife Anna Maynard is one he drew from one of their wedding photographs. Submitted Photo
This portrait of Peter Lathwell and his wife Anna Maynard is one he drew from one of their wedding photographs. Submitted Photo

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