Peter Bresnen began his art career in 1983 in St. Stephen, a small town in southern New Brunswick. He began to do watercolours of local architecture and scenery. He began to travel all over Atlantic Canada, and add more paintings on canvas, as well as watercolours.
He works in a style that has been called magic realism. He has found working with acrylic paints has allowed him to do very sophisticated technical things that would be very difficult in traditional oil painting. It involves glazing (mixing the colours with varnish) which allows for interesting visual effects
Peter Bresnen was born in Montreal. After following science studies at Concordia and Mcgill Universities, he enrolled at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts School of Art and Design.
He studied for 3 years and received a Diploma in Drawing and Painting in 1976. He worked as a graphic designer in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, briefly, and then moved to Nova Scotia where he finished studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, graduating with a BFA in 1981
In 1982 he began to do large murals on public buildings, beginning with the Tunnel Mural on Wyse Road in Dartmouth (destroyed by arson in 2001) and then the Moffatt's Pharmacy mural and the Reid Sweet Photo Shop mural (demolished 2006).
In the late 1980's he did a series of murals for Saint John Shipbuilding illustrating the history of shipbuilding in Saint John. At that time he also did 12 murals on board the the new Patrol Frigates: HMCS Halifax, HMCS Charlottetown, HMCS Vancouver, HMCS Toronto, HMCS Saint John's and HMCS Montreal (two aboard each ship) finishing the last ship in 1994.
In 1998, Bresnen was commissioned to do the sculptures for the Atlantic Salmon Federation Hall of Fame, part of the A. S. F. Conservation Centre in Chamcook, New Brunswick. This hall of fame honours people who have been instrumental in trying to save the wild Atlantic Salmon from extinction. To date he has done 50 portrait heads of inductees into the Hall of Fame, adding 2 more each year.
Bresnen continued to do mural commissions, the most recent one on a naval/athletic theme in the Fleet Gymn. in the Halifax dockyard of the Royal Canadian Navy.
Bresnen moved to Montreal in 2008 and continues to do art.