Peter Long

I have had lots of people wanting to know more about Peter Long.......this is what Mike Armstrong has been able to tell me :)

Hi Debbie,

You asked me about Peter Long, and I am sorry but I have not followed up with the family yet, so these are my recollections. When next I see his sister-in-law in town here I will ask her.

He was at school with my father-in-law at TBHS, so he was born in the early 1920’s. He drew at school.

He served in North Africa, and as a driver on convoys across to Russia from the Middle East, with relief supplies and I think he had lorry loads of high explosives. He used to go to the RSA regularly to meet his old war mates well into his 80’s. He liked to talk about the war a bit. He got skin cancer from the exposure to 

I first knew him when we moved next door to his house at 164 Douglas Street; we are 160 but there is no 162 Douglas street. He passed away about five years ago. He was 91or 92 I think.

he had a studio in his back yard called "Pete’s Pad”, and it was well set up and sunny, with a wide verandah out the front where his wife Joan would hang washing and often sit.

He and Joan would spend summers in Oamarama and travelling about the Mckenzie Country and Central Otago in their camper van, which was a Bedford van with a caravan back and a Holden six cylinder motor that he stored at Washdyke in the winter. He sold that probably ten years before he passed away. He also kept an early Holden Commodore in the back of his garage for many years, and it was his “good” car and he hardly ever used it. It was in mint condition, about a 1981 model.

He kept painting up until the day he died, although he had slowed down in the last two or three years as his health declined. Certainly from the 1970’s onwards he had a good career in art. Before he had retired he was a window dresser, at one stage being at Ballanynes. 

He was a contemporary of Aston Greathead, who had been at school with him maybe, and Greathead gave him much encouragement and help. Peter was sorry he hadn’t retired earlier, because he did very well when he did. He always had customers who came to his house, and he took paintings to hotels at Mt Cook, Omarama and a few others, and they sold the work for him. He made sure he kept them up to date with his work, and kept the paintings circulating. 

In terms of his work, he had a big easel and a small table with paints on it and a very large cabinet unit behind in a cupboard. There was a valve radio of the large wooden case variety. His works for sale were neatly arranged on the eastern and southern walls salon style. He was a systematic and very tidy worker, working from photographs and drawings. I have a drawing or two gifted to me by his wife after his passing, which I think are very fine working drawings, clean and accurate in pencil. He drew up the pencil lines on the canvas boards, put down the sky and then progressed the work from there. He worked in an interesting range of oils that I bought from his wife after he passed away. There were some of the older type of paint colours used by landscape artists, and he had a big stock of paint. Maybe I bought the left over colours he didn’t use much of. I have a couple of his small display easels that I got through Paul Stephenson of Paul’s Gallery, and he had got them from the man who bought the house after Mrs. Long passed away. 

I will send more info as I find stuff out.

Cheers,

Mike.