German native Henry Peter, born in the picturesque town of Burglengenfeld, Bavaria, showed a keen interest in drawing and painting from a very early age and always knew that art would be the central focus of his life. His parents encouraged and supported his passion, and two years after emigrating to the U.S., in 1959, arranged for the twelve year old Henry to take lessons from Margaret Stucki, then a struggling young artist maintaining a studio next door. It was from Margaret that Henry learned color theory and the basics of painting in oils. It was the only formal training Henry received, but it provided a good grounding and laid the foundation on which he would continue to build for the next fifty-five years.
Henry earned a degree in philosophy at what is now Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. He married and worked a variety of jobs before finding an outlet for his creative energies by apprenticing in a machine shop in Richmond, Ohio. In the early eighties, now a machinist and welder, Henry built up his own trucking company and somehow found time to get back into paint-ing. Soon he was winning top awards in local shows in the Pittsburgh - Wheeling - Youngstown areas, followed by more awards and sold work in national competitions, such as the West-moreland Nationals, the Parkersburg Realism Show, the Winter Nationals in Rhinelander, Wiscon-sin and others. A half dozen One Man Shows followed, culminating in his aptly named “Detours” show at Gallery Z in Pittsburgh, Pa.. Traveling extensively and exhibiting at Weekend Art Fairs first brought Henry to Florida in 1992, where he exhibited, sold some work, and won an award at the Key West’s Old Island Days Festival. His love of the Sunshine State prompted his move to Florida’s Space Coast in 1998.
Henry has been painting full time for the past twenty three years. His work hangs in private collections on four continents, and his paintings have been juried into the “Top 100” of the Na-tional “Arts for the Parks” competition three separate times. However, Key West occupies a spe-cial place in his heart, and has figured prominently in his work. He was a mainstay at the Ginger-bread Square gallery there for over two decades. Moving to the Cocco-Salem “Imagine Art” gallery, also in Key West, his work there continues to find favor with collectors and tourists alike.