Interview with artist Peter Nogas - Woodstock era is the connection expressed through his artistic style

"Art to me is a freedom of expression. A combination of mind and heart through creation be it music, poetry, painting, art is a self-portrait of one's soul."

Peter J. Nogas: Psychodelik Pete's Art

Born Peter J. Nogas 3rd in a small Connecticut town in 1965, Psychodelik Pete naturally fell under the spell of the magical Woodstock era and the magnetic pull of bands like The Grateful Dead and throughout the course of his life, those musical connections expressed them self through his artistic style. Graduating in 1984 and immediately joining the Marine Corps, Peter continued drawing, but his works took a backseat to real life and its responsibilities .The U.S.M.C. brought him to Virginia where he met his wife to be, and after that chapter they moved to Ct. together and began a life, a home, a family, and a new job. And took up his art again.

"Music has always been in the background of my life's story and it hasn't changed me, it has helped shape me from the beginning, and like the times, as they evolve, and the music follows suit, as I grow, I evolve with it."

Over time, he produced many pieces, which he donated to charitable causes that struck a chord in him. But it wasn't until meeting Ric Hall (Jaz) that he discovered a talent for combining music, history, and art. While he has given many pieces to the likes of Bill Kreutzmann, Ric Jaz, Jackie Greene, Scott Murawski, and Galadrielle Allman. His signature "Timeline" pieces are one of his true passions. His first was given to Buddy Guy at a backstage meet and greet where Buddy was the first musician to ask Psychodelik Pete for his autograph. His latest, "Soul Flow" was recently donated to the Allman Brothers Museum "The Big House" in Macon, Georgia and will hopefully be on display soon and like Peter himself, for many loving years to come.

Interview by Michael Limnios     Artwork © by Psychodelik Pete

When was your first desire to become involved in the visual art? What does "ART" means to you?

Since the first grade, I've had the desire to be an artist. I've always enjoyed seeing the happiness in others' faces when they receive a piece of my work.

What characterize the artistic philosophy of Psychodelik Pete and how do you describe your artwork?

Art to me is a freedom of expression. A combination of mind and heart through creation be it music, poetry, painting, art is a self-portrait of one's soul.

What experiences in your life have triggered your ideas for artwork most frequently?

The connection I make with people is a start. Many of my pieces are donated to charitable organizations I believe whole-heartedly in because they have touched my life personally in one way or another. Often, it is a result of tragedy, either personal, or empathetic, that motivates me to correct an unnatural rift in the realm of my own world and restore balance.

How important was the music in your life? How does the music affect your mood and inspiration?

John Green said "Some people have lives, some people have music" To me, music IS life, and is a force all its own. It is in the rhythm of the rain, in nature, the sound of the wind, through a canyon or the trees.... it is in our souls and it drives many of us with the beating of our hearts as its only percussion.

What first attracted you to Blues and Rock & Roll culture and how has changed your life?

As for the blues, I grew up listening to a lot of different music, and I have a preference for the melancholy in life that is associated with the blues so it seems natural to me that I love that genre in particular, though I enjoy ALL genres. Music has always been in the background of my life's story and it hasn't changed me, it has helped shape me from the beginning, and like the times, as they evolve, and the music follows suit, as I grow, I evolve with it.

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past? What are your hopes and fears on the future of Art?

A lot of music or certain bands/performers in general, seem to have lost the story in music. A lot of it is just noise, mass produced, from a box and like all the others, it fits a mold. People need to break out of it. I also miss greatly, album cover art. With the smaller CD's, there is less room for true artwork on the covers. Hopefully, the art of the "Album Cover" doesn't go the way of the 45 rpm with the new desire for MP3's and all digital music catalogues and collections.

"Blues, we all have angst. We all have sorrow and heartbreak and crappy days that seem to never end. When you hear someone else sing or play the blues, you get the sense of connection, that you aren't alone and that maybe this poor bastard know EXACTLY how you feel, LOL!!"

What has made you laugh lately and what touched (emotionally) you from music and art world?

Laughter! Hmmm. Hard to answer that one, though I always remember what makes me sad. And sadness and sorrow motivate me more than happiness. Art is how I work all of that out and clean my soul again. Recently we went to the Bethelwoods Center for the Arts. The general feeling of three days of peace and music amidst a world full of war and death and destruction? THAT was moving. I wish I'd been old enough to go....

What is your favorite artwork and what is the story behind it?

My favorite piece so far, is probably "Guardian Spirit" a woodburned painting of 8 unbridled Clydesdales to represent eight men. Eight husbands, fathers, brothers. Eight sons, lovers, FRIENDS... that were killed meaninglessly and left to die like dandelions past prime in a killing field in Connecticut. They were my friends....

The piece was a gift for all of the friends and colleagues at the distributing plant in Manchester who continue to miss them every day.

Which memory from Buddy Guy makes you smile?

During a moment backstage at Ridgefield Playhouse, I was able to present Buddy with a woodburned "Timeline" with images and accomplishments and dates of events all inscribed into it. After we spoke about it, and he lovingly recalled some of the moments on the piece aloud, he said "Hehehe! You know, a lot of people have asked me for my autograph over the years.... but this is the first time in 70 years I ever asked anyone for THEIRS!!" and we all laughed, but it was moving beyond belief.

"Many of my pieces are donated to charitable organizations I believe whole-heartedly in because they have touched my life personally in one way or another. Often, it is a result of tragedy, either personal, or empathetic, that motivates me to correct an unnatural rift in the realm of my own world and restore balance." (Photo: Peter & Buddy Guy)

Why did you think that Blues & Rock culture continues to generate such a devoted following?

Blues, we all have angst. We all have sorrow and heartbreak and crappy days that seem to never end. When you hear someone else sing or play the blues, you get the sense of connection, that you aren't alone and that maybe this poor bastard know EXACTLY how you feel, LOL!!

Who else you will get for a trip to the Route 66?

Jim Morrison would make a great Route 66 navigator.

Which incident of Woodstock Festival ’69 you‘d like to be captured and illustrated in a painting with you?

I would love to have seen Jimi Hendrix play his version of our national anthem. That will be an epic painting one day...

How you would spend a day with Grateful Dead? What would you like to ask Duane Allman?

Grateful Dead would love to sit in on a songwriting/jam session.

Duane Allman, Where does his energy come from?

"Art is how I work all of that out and clean my soul again. Recently we went to the Bethelwoods Center for the Arts. The general feeling of three days of peace and music amidst a world full of war and death and destruction? THAT was moving. I wish I'd been old enough to go...."

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