Peter Hagerty is a Chicago–born artist, former altar boy and aficionado of Bozo's Circus. He has had family members living in Chicago since 1855. His artistic interests include: oil painting, assemblage from "found" objects, and working with wood in various forms.
Hagerty's feeling is that the whole world can be seen in a person's face if done correctly – so an effective portrait shows humankind entire. He has always enjoyed completing portraits of recognizable cultural figures. However, several years ago, he switched his focus to only completing portraits of Chicago-influenced personalities. Hagerty also undertook a project he called Portraits of the City - that city being Chicago. For the past 5 years, he has presented specific Chicago-themed portrait exhibits. His goal was to reflect the diversity of Chicago's people and ideas through his art work.
Having successfully captured the thoughts and feelings of the City, Hagerty has decided to move away from a strict focus on only Chicago paintings. He wants to "blow the whole thing up" so to speak – change his technique and change his subject matter to whatever seems like a good idea that day. Purposeful stops and starts are a good thing because you get positive energy by setting higher challenges for yourself – if you're stagnant you're dead.
His goal continues to be making a small contribution to the history of portraiture.
Unasked for Advice
The key to creating art and living life is to find a medium and style YOU enjoy. You are allowed to take techniques from others, but incorporate them into your own work. If you try to copy Van Gogh's style, people will simply say: "They're copying Van Gogh" and not look any further. Have a healthy self-criticism of YOUR work. Success eludes a large number of people because they cannot honestly critique their own output - mediocrity continues because they do not see the need to improve. Move past your insecurities; in the big scheme of things, painting is close to the bottom on the list of life necessities - if you create several dozen bad works, who really cares – and who is going to know. Most important, use the 10,000 hours – 100 piece rule; meaning you haven't done anything until you have put in 10,000 hours and have completed 100 works — (in any endeavor) because it shows you are serious. If you think that is a lot, it is estimated that Picasso did 40,000 various works in his lifetime. If you are not improving at painting or golf after 100 attempts, something is wrong.
And always remember, your work is OK, but it needs to be better – no matter who you are - ever notice how the work of even the greatest artists looks more "refined" as they got older? The brick walls - in any field, are there for a reason. Successful people get past the wall, people who should be doing something else find the brick wall too dense or too high and hopefully they go off in search of other life challenges.