Peter Andrews’ Naked Ladies artwork has been featured on a variety of different products designed and sold by ARTHOUSE Unlimited including chocolate, soaps, brooches, keyrings, wrapping paper, scarves and tankards. Most recently it has been the focus of our new Lady Muck range of luxurious bath and body products. The original Naked Ladies design was based on a collection of paintings and drawings of female nudes that Peter had created over a period of 8 years. He has played a pivotal role in all subsequent aspects of design, sales and marketing.

“I love painting ‘cause it calms me down. I like it when I’m trying to relax ‘cause one day this year I could not relax, I was so tense it was so painful but the art has helped.”

To produce his drawings and paintings, Peter works very closely with ARTHOUSE instructors who will copy a painting (often Pre-Raphaelite) that Peter has chosen, simplifying it down to an outline drawing. This enables Peter to see easily the various component shapes. This is quite a common process used throughout ARTHOUSE sessions: some artists can get confused and frustrated looking at a full-colour image where the outlines get muddled. A thick black outline is easier to decode and then personally interpret, helping each artist feel more empowered. After 5 years of working with Peter producing naked lady drawings and paintings, ARTHOUSE helped him submit his work to the ‘Outside In’ at Pallant House Gallery. His painting won the competition and at the age of 50 Peter had a solo show called NAKED. It was a virtual sell-out, his family came to the private view and Peter made a rousing speech about his work. Since then, together with Peter, the team have developed his original art work into designs. Firstly, his drawings were made into cards and then brooches and keyrings. Peter’s designs were a big success commercially and his best-selling Wonder Woman card has become an ARTHOUSE classic. The success of these products led to the decision to produce Peter’s Naked Ladies into a repeat design.

When ARTHOUSE sessions first started in October 2005, Peter was 45 and the charity’s founder, Becky, was told he lacked both interest and focus. Together, however, the team quickly discovered Peter really enjoyed drawing, especially naked women. He felt empowered by his talent and enjoyed how the audience reacted to his completely unique drawings. Peter’s family were not originally fully aware of his artistic skill but their pride in his emerging talent empowered Peter too.

He says, “I love painting. I love to paint ladies. My family, my mum and dad, they love me. My mum was a painter, I got the talent off my mum. My brother, his name is John, he’s got a picture I painted in his own flat he bought from ARTHOUSE. He is really proud of me ‘cause I did it. I love painting ‘cause it calms me down. I like it when I’m trying to relax ‘cause one day this year I could not relax, I was so tense it was so painful but the art has helped. I love to paint ladies because of the feelings inside when I achieve nice paintings.’

After discussing the selection with Peter, Hannah, the ARTHOUSE Unlimited design manager scanned each individual image and then placed them in a repeat design layout. A professional surface pattern designer, Hannah then arranged the repeat design digitally, carefully maintaining the integrity of each and every one of Peter’s original drawings.

When this layout had been created, Peter was given a printed out copy and worked closely with both Hannah and the art instructor to develop the design further. In sessions he started to draw patterns of his own choice and style around the figures (the gold decoration you can see on the tankard and in the background of the Lady Muck products).

After months of work Peter brought the drawing with the additional pattern back to Hannah who then scanned and put the two images together to create the design. Hannah prepared the artwork to fit various products.

The products were discussed with and shown to Peter before sending off to suppliers for samples to be produced.

With every design and product created at ARTHOUSE Unlimited, the design team work hard to ensure samples are perfect, of the highest quality and comply with the law. The artist will be shown samples of the product as they arrive. Then the product is signed off and presented to the director board. After considering the manufacturing costs, the saleability of the product and the trade and retail prices, the board will agree to invest in the product and place an order. It is important that the whole team feel the product is saleable for the feel-good factor for the artist. We must ensure that the artists feel proud, purposeful and valued whilst receiving the service ARTHOUSE Unlimited vas a charity provides.

You will see Peter always signs his name to products that are produced with his work on. Sometimes products and packaging require graphic design which artists will contribute to. Peter’s beautiful handwriting features on many of his products.