I’m John T. Peters, but most people
call me Yiannis.
I come from a large, my big fat Greek wedding, Greek family. I’ve got dozens of first cousins and, since boys are always named after their paternal grandfather (with the middle name coming from their father), there are about five John Peters, so my middle initial is rather important to me. My cousin’s wedding list of groomsmen looked like one big typographical error…. Groomsmen; John Peters, John Peters, John Peters… And, to tell you the truth, those closest to me call me Yiannis (John, in Greek, but the ‘s’ isn’t really pronounced.)
I started drawing at the age of five and began painting while still in high school. Later, in university, I continued studying both art and business. There, I started painting, using different kinds of media beyond just oil and acrylic, and I picked up my first professional quality brushes. From there, it started… I began painting and drawing the first of my pieces I would sell.
After college, I spent each summer on the Greek island of Mykonos, painting watercolors of the white washed village, blue domed churches and tiny winding streets, not to mention the myriad of nude Scandinavian women. It was there I learned to differentiate between the whites of Mediterranean sunlight and the whites of reflective island moonlight. I began developing more of my own style mixing pencil and ink. Many days were spent on Super Paradise beach with friends from around the world. Many evenings were spent at the famed Scandinavian Bar, a subject frequently painted by artists like Thomas McKnight and Peter Apostolos.
Sacred to me are my Faces-in-the-Crowd ™ drawings. Each are 3 feet by 2 feet and contain about 1,000 small faces, each one different from the next. This simple doodling technique has kept me busy for thousands of hours. Crowd themes include concerts, bullfights, Olympic venues, sporting events and car shows – anywhere where a crowd might gather.
Originally from New York and New Jersey, I now live in the midwest, and even after a decade, I find I still don’t totally fit here. The pizza stinks and there are no bagels to speak of, but the people are nice, even though they don’t get my sarcasm. For years I have painted each weekend in my studio, and that helps clear my head. My personal interests are many, including international travel, ethnic food, all things pizza (see my pizza blog – www.ThatPizzaGuy.com), and trying to figure out what’s going on in the mind of my dog. I, along with my wife and our two teenage children live in Northwest Indiana, just a stone’s throw from Chicago.