By Kimberley Graham
Meet Peter Hall, the “Coronado Artiste”. He is a local artist whose passion is painting watercolors. Many Coronadans as well as the flocks of tourists who don our shores are familiar with this talented man as he has been a staple to the community for decades. Besides being a noted watercolorist, Peter Hall, spent many years as a caricaturist at our Ferry Landing, painting whimsical, lifelike portraits of passers-by, community members, their beloved pets, and their children. In fact, in Mr. Hall’s words, “People come back after years. Sometimes they come back with their kids, whose caricatures I did when they were two or three, and now they are teenagers. They come back to say hello.”
The Coronado Artiste is a proud man and has been dedicated to his craft all of his life. He has taught the art of painting, lived in Paris where he painted and studied the great impressionists and watercolorists, also spent much time living on the East Coast where he captured beautiful, realistic interpretations of wildlife, homes, and nature scenes. The paintings are so realistic, they look as if they are photographs. To see his life’s collection of works is truly an honor and fills the witness with true credibility for his intense pride.
Peter has struggled with serious health issues over the years, yet he still steadies forward forever persevering for his passion. We should all be so lucky to enjoy this type of zeal and enthusiasm in life. Recently, after undergoing surgery, he painted a gorgeous portrait of our beloved Frankie dog. My “healing dog”, Frankie, went missing a couple of months ago. We searched high and low for him with a huge poster campaign for a month only to find out that he had been struck by a car and killed a couple of blocks from our home the same day he went missing. Frankie nursed me through my ordeal with breast cancer never leaving my side while I went through chemotherapy and radiation treatments as well as two surgeries. Our family promised to never forget him and Peter Hall made that promise a reality in his stunning interpretation. His attention to detail is pure in his portrayals of people’s pets. Every hair, whisker, and hue is represented. We will always be grateful to his generosity of spirit with his gift of our Frankie’s portrait.
Peter Hall’s future plans include paying close attention to his serious work which is watercolors. He submits his work in local exhibitions and is a noted artist for the San Diego Watercolor Society at Liberty Station, where he tries to exhibit every month. He does many commissions with a focus on people’s pets. He likes to refer to this side of his business as “Dogs’ Rule” and much of his watercolor work is focused on flowers as well as nature scenes. The artist’s paintings of the Hotel Del Coronado are vividly brilliant.
The commissioned work has included watercolors of the Hotel Del Coronado, the ferry boats, the view of downtown San Diego from Coronado, flowers, and nature. Of course, the pets and caricatures are truly part of his forte.Among the notable artists who have been influential in Mr. Hall’s developed talents include the American watercolorists: Winslow Homer, Don Kingman, Andrew Wyeth with William Preston being a tremendous influence on his work.
Mr. Hall still does the caricatures by mail. You can send photographs of yourself and family or pets to:
Peter Hall 1226 9th Street, Apt. 6, Coronado, CA 92118 (619) 435-8992
The best time to reach Mr. Hall is in the evenings as he enjoys spending his days out and about in our lovely kingdom by the sea. His friendliness is contagious. Peter likes to sit down at the Ferry Landing where he meets and greets not only our citizens but the array of travelers who marvel at the beauty of our town.
The Coronado Artiste is an institution. He is truly a part of our community and a self-proclaimed “mayor”. Beyond doubt, we are lucky to have Peter Hall in our midst.