FERGUS – While the COVID-19 pandemic may not have been an easy time for Peter Skoggard, productivity was not a problem.
He used the time to refine one of his many passions: drawing.
Having come from a family of visual artists, from a young age Skoggard would often take family sketching trips and honed his skills as an artist.
Just prior to the pandemic, he began creating self-portraits. At first, he was completing one every few days, averaging about 20 to 30 minutes to sketch, but once he was confined to his home it quickly became three a day or more.
Since then, he’s produced 1,300 drawings, all of which have been matted and framed.
“I had so many drawings in my apartment and my daughter asked, ‘What are you going to do with them all dad?’” he said.
“And then I thought, I’m finished with the project – I have to move them, so I started taking them to different thrift shops in the area – Stratford, Kitchener, Orangeville, Guelph and Fergus.”
Willow Hobson volunteers in the art department at the New to You store in Fergus and has known Skoggard for many years through the arts community and her time working for the Elora Centre for the Arts.
“Peter had donated some work to us, and I was putting them out just a couple at a time, and we ended up selling out. A couple of people phoned back and said, ‘I love Peter’s stuff, I want more,’” Hobson said.
“I phoned him to ask if he had more and told him that we wanted to do a show, and he was just thrilled to be asked.”
Skoggard’s pieces are drawn using pastels, chalk pastels, and crayons. He works in front of a mirror because “he doesn’t want to draw what he thinks he looks like.”
“Part of representative art is to draw what you see and not what you think you see,” he said. “It’s a very interesting thing to do, drawing yourself, because you’re inside yourself looking at the outside. Secondly, you’re objectifying yourself. You don’t really know what you look like, and that’s one reason it’s a continuous and ever-changing exercise.”
Skoggard believes artists create art for very different reasons; some because they like to create order out of chaos, but he enjoys capturing moments.
“Locally, he’s a character and everybody loves him. He’s known far and wide for his good work in the community and I’m very happy for him,” Hobson said.
All of the profits from the sale of Skoggards work goes to Groves Memorial Community Hospital.
To donate, volunteer or shop, visit the New to You store at 950 St. David St. N., Fergus or online at newtoyoufergus.ca.