Home Jo Sonja's Articles & Projects Peter Ompir & Warner Wrede - Page 2
Peter Ompir & Warner Wrede - Page 2

ompir3-a.jpg"I turned to painting anything I could get my hands on, from cigarette boxes to anything old or new. I sold them through an agent," Ompir told an interviewer.

Ompir's work soon generated a great demand for more, and his pieces were selling in Macy's, Neiman-Marcus, Sloan's of New York, Magnin's, and Meier & Frank. In the 1970's Peter's treasures were proudly offered for sale by Harry & Velma Visse at their Corner House gift shop in Portland, OR.

Since each piece took at least two weeks to create, Ompir looked for help in the long preparatory process required on each antique. He found that help in Warner Wrede while in New York City. In the 1950's the two artists moved to an old farmhouse in Vermont.ompir-c2.jpg

They moved again, in 1960, to a stately old cape cod house in Undermountain Road in Sheffield, MA, where they continued their work.

During those early years. Warner painted and sanded, and painted again, and varnished, before Peter painted the decoration on the piece. But eventually, Peter handed him a brush and told him to try painting a design himself. Warner then painted many pieces, although he always signed them "Peter Ompir" since that was their business name. When Peter died in 1979, Warmer carried on the work, signing his own name to the designs.

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Peter's creative process began with a gold, flat base, which would take two or more coats. Dried and sanded between coats. Then Peter would paint his design of fruits, flowers, birds or folk art figures. Ompir's fine arts training and natural talent produced such detailed rendering that one ardent collector enthused, "the strawberries look so real you could eat them!" Peter's designs used exceptionally bright, vibrant colors in order to retain a rich hue after the many coats of antiquing that he applied.