• Thornton-Mouse-in-Bed

    Mouse In Bed

    Giclée Print   

  • Peter Thornton - John Henry

    A Natural Man

    The True Story of John Henry

  • Thornton-City-Hall

    City Glow

    Providence Scene Giclée Print

  • Providence Scene - Downcity Skating

    DownCity Skating

    Providence Scene Giclée Print

  • Peter Thornton - Shooting Star

    Shooting Star

    Giclée Print

Welcome! Thank you for visiting. Available through my site are many of the books, prints and other work I have created through the years. Please explore and enjoy!

About The Artist

Peter Thornton

Peter is a Providence, Rhode Island native and still lives in the Mt. Hope section of the East Side where he was born in 1956. His books, cards and prints feature the diverse neighborhoods and residents of his beloved hometown. A 1978 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design in Illustration, his career has covered many disciplines. Upon graduation, he was art director for the award-winning local children’s arts television program, “Allamaze”, where he created sets, puppets, and props. In the years following, he illustrated numerous greeting cards and children’s books for Morrow, Godine, and Lerner publishers. He also produced illustrated campus maps for local institutions, marketed fine art prints of his work, taught several illustration classes for The Wheeler School in Providence, and renovated two houses.

Among his earliest projects were the illustrations of a retelling of the American classic folk story John Henry. Entitled “A Natural Man – The True Story of John Henry” the project enjoyed critical success, but like so many children’s books, went away after only two printings. Fast forward thirty years and thanks to the author Steve Sanfield, the book is back in print once again. Peter has memorized the story (it takes about thirty minutes to tell) and with a PowerPoint presentation of the art and related materials is available for school and library tellings of this time-honored tale.

His most long-lived book series is a four volume set of story/cookbooks which introduce the reader to different cultures through a variety of foods. Starting with “Everybody Cooks Rice”, readers are treated to a four book journey that, in addition to rice, includes bread, soup and noodles. According to Peter, the process of locating representatives from over a dozen different cultures was an exciting and educational process, helped greatly by the cultural diversity of Providence and the open helpfulness of its residents. Two of the books have received ABA Pick of the Lists and Society of School Librarians International Awards. All four books are available through his website.

Peter’s latest project, “Make Time for Reading”, is a new book written by Dr. Jean Fahey, PhD, an early child literacy specialist, whose own life story about adopting a baby and the challenges of teaching her to read bring to light the urgent need to read and tell stories to our children from infancy on. Peter’s illustrations complement a simple rhyming story with gentle science-based prompts for the parent/caregiver on the facing page. The book, sponsored and branded by several philanthropic organizations, has been given out to new mothers at birthing hospitals in the Northeast.

When Peter is not at the drawing board, he can be found at his local YMCA, playing ping pong, leading a spin class, or playing chess. He and his wife Barbara also sing in the Central Congregational church choir and manage a semi-professional non-profit Christmas caroling group (VoX, or Voices of Xmas) which performs throughout the state of RI during the holiday season. Peter also plays guitar and is always looking for a good campfire that needs entertainment.