The illusory cage confines us with our immediate world in which we live and work, making it difficult to see beyond. We become content with living vicariously through fiction books and movies to provide us with temporary escapes outside that cage. Every now and then we hear about someone tempting their inevitable fate, by making the decision to venture outside their boundary. Peter Joel Garner from Leeds, England is such a person.

A multi-talented hobbiest, Peter Garner is an accomplished lyrical writer and performer, excelling in both bass guitar and singing. As an artisan in woodworking, Peter has designed and constructed writing pens and various musical instruments such as guitars and flutes. A modest savant, Peter eclipses the average photographer with his beautiful landscape photos. Although these things are enough to keep even the most forsaken of people busy, Peter solemnly admits his number one true love is painting.

As a professional artist for more than thirty years, Peter has painted hundreds of original landscape and portrait paintings, sold at art galleries throughout England. Sensing an obstruction with creativity being inevitable, Peter set off to other countries in an attempt to find new inspiration for his art. Peter traveled to South Africa and different parts of European countries in search of the perfect venue. In 2008, Peter decided China would be his calling for his new found inspiration. Instantly falling in love with China’s people, culture and traditions, Peter felt that China provided him with the most beautiful, diverse, and thought provoking landscapes found anywhere in the world.

With the intent of finding out what art collectors most desired in their paintings, Peter traveled around China for three years taking pictures of the mystical beauty of China’s back country: gathering information to educate himself with the many art styles of contemporary and historical Chinese painters. To sustain his lifestyle, he picked up ESL teaching jobs along the way.

After completing his mission, Peter landed a position as an art teacher in one of the most prestigious art schools in south China. This allowed Peter to concentrate on applying the artistic concepts he learned while traveling. As monotonous and mundane as teaching basic art was, it provided Peter a step closer towards his ultimate goal of independence as an artist.

Despite the sterile classroom atmosphere, Peter’s teaching and art talent has quickly gained notoriety with enthusiasts within the community: providing him with numerous connections, and an offer for a private art exhibition in the coming year. Modestly astounded by this new goal, Peter must prepare an inventory of paintings to show the public. Peter has made plans to move into an apartment community: accepting only resident artists.

Gradually distancing himself from the classroom, and spending more time in his studio, Peter appreciates the opportunities teaching has provided. He will continue to teach students, and hopes that one day his students will take the plunge outside their proverbial cage, and journey after their goals and desires.

Leaving his home in England on a quest to find new inspiration elsewhere in the world, was a huge step outside of Peter’s comfort zone. With a firm belief in himself, his ambition and fortitude, Peter did not view his decision as a risk, but rather a positive adventure in education. Stepping beyond the boundary and into the unknown, is a journey towards achieving your dreams and desires. Peter’s piercing green eyes and erect solemn stature, denote features of determination and ambition, a necessary mixture of ingredients for success.