Mr. Davidson began studying classical oil painting in 1986, at the invitation of the noted classical painter, Frank Mason, of the Art Students' League of New York City. At this time he was also building his career as an opera and theatrical set designer. He felt that this was a wonderful opportunity to study with a noted classical painter of religious subjects, and would further develop his painting skills, for illustrating his opera and theatrical set design concepts.
Peter painting Smuggler's Notch
outside of Stowe VT, 2001

A few summers of painting outdoors in Vermont with other dedicated artists training with Frank Mason, captured his passion, and challenged him to create paintings in the Plein Air tradition. Plein Air landscape painting is seen as the ultimate test for a representational artist: as they are painted outdoors on-site, and have to express a single moment in time and light. Painted quickly, they express the beauty of nature, the qualities of light and atmosphere of a specific event, all so that others can share in the beauty of that moment.

Looking back, this passion for Plein Air painting by Mr. Davidson hardly seems accidental. His father raised him with a deep respect and spiritual reverence for wild animals and the outdoors. While in college, he worked as a wilderness guide in an Outward Bound-type leadership program. He was also a design intern with the National Park Service in their national exhibit design center. His enjoyment of wild animals also led to his raising two African lion cubs for a zoo on the East Coast.


Peter Davidson's artistic career includes experience over the past fifteen years in feature film and television set design and art direction. His credits include set design and collaboration on concept design for notable film productions such as Kill Bill I & II, Adaptation, Bubble Boy, The X-Files Movie and Stigmata. His opera and theatrical set designs have received positive reviews from theater critics of newspapers and magazines such as "The New Yorker", "The Boston Globe", and "The Boston Herald". Prior to his work in Hollywood, he worked as an advertising art director, illustrator and architectural design consultant.

Plein Air painting provides a balance in his Hollywood film design career, as it is an activity that takes him outdoors on weekends or in the early evenings after work. These paintings which are in the same aspect ratio (1: 1.85) as wide-screen film, allow him to explore composition relating to film design.

Over the past few years his paintings have begun to be collected, since being presented for sale in two recent gallery exhibitions. "Visions of California and Vermont" from 2002-2003 ... a follow-up exhibit of landscape paintings, to his successful showing from the year before, "Plein Air Paintings" 2001-2002.

Peter Davidson earned an M.F.A. from N.Y.U./Tisch Design Department, focused on set design for stage, and art direction for film and TV. He holds a B.F.A. from Antioch College in Sculpture/Architectural Design.

Peter and guests at
2003 Holiday Exhibit entrance.

California Art Club: Painting Patron Member
Laguna Plein Air Painters Association: Artist Member
Society of Motion Picture and Television Art Directors
Set Designers Local of Hollywood