Peter Malarkey

Fine Art / Painting Conservation



Stacks Image 100
Peter Malarkey was born in Eugene, Oregon, in 1964. After two years at Reed College, Peter acknowledged his realist instincts and found his way to Studio Cecil-Graves in Florence, Italy where he studied academic drawing, painting, and the history and science of oil painting materials, from 1984 - 1987.

Returning to the Pacific Northwest in 1989, Peter established a private practice as a painting conservator, filling an important gap in the preservation offerings of Seattle at that time. Peter divides his time between Seattle and Port Angeles, and continues to consult and treat paintings and murals for private, institutional and government clients.

Peter has taught and lectured in the areas of oil method, drawing and conservation at the Frye Art Museum, Getty Institute, Tacoma Art Museum, Northwest Museum of Art and Culture, and the Seattle Academy of Realist Art (now the Gage Academy). He maintains contact with individual students and working artists, for mutual critique and technical information.

Artist's Statement

Stacks Image 101
I believe that we share a persistence of longstanding evolutionary truths, regardless of our individual identity or cultural subdivisions. It is the irreducibility of certain constants of primate life – patterns, death, the Group – that attracts our thought regardless of our individual perspectives.

The thought of our forebears, and our shared kinship, is felt most when sought least. It is the thumbprint in the shard.

Evolving with and alongside Nature, we all need it in order to survive.We like textures, we seek patterns and deviations, we use symbols and sounds. As primates we learned to forecast based on observed distributions and to relate these lessons to our peers and to our children. With such dominant and longstanding evolutionary factors, and an increasingly critical cultural and climatic environment, the ongoing value of more temporary cultural and political conversations must be questioned.

As paintings jostle with other media for time and cultural attention, painters and their collaborative institutions have in too many cases arrived at a critical entrenchment wherein all parties suffer from their own perceived limitations. Defensive tactics and the polarization of rationale are symptoms of any stressed social system, including the arts, and the importance of a primary narrative form –spreading colorful dirt – demands longer consideration than relatively brief cultural variations allow.

To transmit experience and replicate the human gaze, we turn to paint. I believe that the painted narrative language is a necessary documentary device. While other forms of record (science, mechanical imagery) and forms of story (music, text, photography) can illuminate or quantify a place according to their own rules, a narrative painting is unique in sharing the place with the viewer, through mutual eyes which travel, linger, sort and seek. A record of the hand and of the eye, painting is a language which sits distinct from devices and words.

Selected Exhibitions

The Valley Before: Fourteen Landscapes of the Lower Elwha
September 1 through September 30, 2011.The Landing Building, Port Angeles, Washington

Port Angeles Fine Art Center
Backcountry Exhibit, Summer 2011

Olympic National Park Headquarters
Spring/Summer, 2011

Port Angeles Fine Art Center, Strait Art Exhibit, Spring, 2011
Artist House, Philadelphia 1997 – 2000
Martin-Zambito Fine Art, Seattle 1992 – 2000
Tacoma Art Museum, True Art, 1999
University of Puget Sound Mount Rainier Exhibit, 1998

Frye Art Museum, Four Instructors Exhibit, 1998

University of Washington, Penthouse Theater
University of Washington Medical Center
McGraw-Hill Publishing
Attachmate, Inc.


Seattle Met Magazine, August 2011, Art of the Park
Orion Quarterly, Summerr 1996. Frontispiece, Barry Lopez, Jedidiah Speaks with the River
Kitty Harmon and Jonathan Raban, The Pacific Northwest Landscape, Sasquatch Books, 2001
Mitchell Albala, Essential Concepts of Landscape Painting . Watson Guptill, 2010
Juliette Artistides, Atelier Painting . Four page overview of technical painting principles. Watson Guptill, 2009
Scott Davis, An Ear to the Ground, Writers from Two Coasts, Cune Press, 1997. Author portraits
Reflex Magazine, reviewed by William Elston, 1995
Artifact Magazine, 1999

Painting Conservation

Peter Malarkey Painting Conservation, Inc. 1989 - present
Preservation, conservation, restoration and documentation of oil, acrylic and mural paintings. Museum, private, governmental and corporate collections.

Recent Institutional Clients Include
Washington State Arts Commission Washington State General Administration
Wing Luke Asian Museum Frye Art Museum
City of Seattle City Light Collection Tacoma Art Museum
US Department of the Interior


Artist in Residence, Centrum Foundation, Port Townsend, WA, 1997

Drawing and Painting Instruction/lecturer, 1995 – present.

Private students, Frye Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum NEA Artist in Residence, Gage Academy.

Instruction and critique in oil painting methods and materials, observational drawing.

Public lectures on conservation projects and related preservation principles.


Reed College, Portland, OR 1982 – 1984. Studio art, art history.
Studio Cecil-Graves, Florence Italy 1984 – 1987. Academic studio training, history and fabrication of drawing and oil painting tools and materials.
Paper Conservation Technician, Douglas Kenyon Inc., Chicago, IL 1987-1988. Archival handling and treatment of paper art objects and documents.


Associate, American Institute for Conservation and Preservation of Cultural and Historic Works, Washington, DC
Western Association for Art Conservation, Santa Monica, CA.
Northwest Figurative Artists’ Alliance, Seattle, WA.
©2016 by peter malarkey and suzumebachi design. all rights reserved. contact.