Peter and his twin brother Roger come from an artistic family - their mother was a painter and their uncle Charles W Cain, was a celebrated dry-point etcher called the 'Etcher of the East'.
Peter Upton has a worldwide reputation as an artist and author, specialising in the Arab Horse, on which he lectures around the world. He is also an International Judge of Arab Horses - twice President of the Arab Horse Society of Britain, as well as Patron of the New Zealand Arab Horse Society. He has travelled extensively in the Middle East and camped in tents with the Bedouins. He carries out extensive sketches whilst travelling, using biro (because it doesn't need sharpening!) on bankpaper, and then he paints the finished piece in his studio.
He has held exhibitions in London, Cirencester, the United States, Sweden and, as co-exhibitor with his nephew Mark, in Jeddah. This last exhibition took place during Ramadan with the private view taking place at midnight. He has been invited to exhibit at many shows including 'A Brush with Nature' for the Wildfowl Trust at Slimbridge. His paintings are much sought-after and can be found in private collections, including royal collections, throughout the world. He is also represented in the international collection, 'Nature in Art'.
He has written numerous articles for international magazines, and is a founder member of the Arabian Horse Historical Association. Peter has had five books published, the first in 1980 'Desert Heritage, An Artist's Collection of Blunt's Desert Horses', and also 'The Classic Arab Horse', now translated into five languages, and 'The Arab Horse, A Complete Record of the Arab Horse Imported into Britain from the Desert of Arabia from the 1830s'. In 1997, the twins published a joint book of their poems, 'Rhyme Intrinseca' and in 1998 Peter's 'Drinkers of the Wind, The Arabian Horse – History, Mystery and Magic' was published by Thames & Hudson. A new edition of ‘The Arab Horse’ was published in 2005, followed by a new book entitled ‘Out of the Desert’ in 2006.
Over the last few years he has been exhibiting paintings at the Mathaf Gallery annual contemporary exhibitions.