Peter Skipper was born at Japingka, west of the Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia. He grew up in the bush where he learned painting, carving and survival skills from his close relatives. He was introduced to Christianity on Cherrabun Station where he lived and worked for a time as a stockman.
In the 1960s, Skipper and his family moved to Fitzroy Crossing where they became Christians through contact with the fundamentalist United Aboriginal Mission that had been established there in the 1950s.
Skipper started painting on canvas board for tourists in the early 1980s. This may have been prompted by the interest shown in his work by Jimmy Pike, a close relative. In January 1987, Skipper began to paint on large canvases for Duncan Kentish.
He was involved with the translation of the Bible into Walmajarri as well as the compilation of an English/Walmajarri dictionary published in 1990. Although he is a practising Christian, he prefers not to paint Christian, subjects, stating that he would rather not "muck around with God".
Skipper's first solo exhibition was held at the Craft Centre Gallery, Sydney in 1989. His work has been included in many survey exhibitions, most notably Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia, The Asia Society Galleries, New York, 1988; Balance 1990: Views, Visions, Influences, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 1990; Aboriginal Art and Spirituality, The High Court of Australia, Canberra, 1991 and Images of Power: Aboriginal Art of the Kimberley, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1993. In 1994 the artist produced a number of limited edition prints for Mangkaja Arts, which were exhibited in Old Mangkaja, New Prints at the Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne in 1995. He was an important participant in the Native title canvas project, Ngurrara 1 and 2.