Born and raised in Minnesota, Peggy exhibited early on, a natural ability for art.
“Drawing, and art in general, was like a game when I was young. I’d look at a picture and sketch it over and over again to see how closely I could replicate it; animals, people, objects, scenery, pretty much everything.”
Continually encouraged by her parents and teachers, her passion for art grew and her skills progressed. With a grandfather who once casually mentioned there was a bit of Indian blood in the family and an older brother’s interest in the Native American culture, Peggy found her direction in art. Summer vacations at her grandparent’s cabin, campfires, catching fireflies in jars, swimming in the lakes, hunting for frogs, turtles and crayfish, looking for pussy willows in the spring; all these things fired her imagination as a child
and continue to inspire her as an adult.
“My siblings and I were so blessed to enjoy those experiences together. And I do mean blessed! It’s a Minnesota legacy, really. My parents eventually had their own cabin, and now my husband and I own one ourselves. Our three children grew up enjoying the north woods, and now our own grandchildren are doing the same. The legacy lives on.”
Primarily a self taught artist, Peggy had some Art History background in college, but she learned her craft by reading anything and everything art related and experimenting in various mediums.
She first began painting in watercolors, then acrylics, and now works mostly in oils in her home-based studio. Her past schooling in Interior Design and her innate sense of color, mood, contrast and balance also transfers to the canvas as she paints.
“In my efforts to help support my family I’ve traveled a few career paths, but I’ve always been an artist. It’s never left me. I’ve had the honor of being asked to teach art to inner-city kids through a grant program, and as a teaching assistant for public schools I was asked to use art to reach students with emotional struggles and learning disabilities. Through another grant with the City of St. Paul, I illustrated brochures, posters and tee-shirts for a neighborhood renewal project, and shortly after that was commissioned by area Realtors to draw pen and ink renderings of properties for their clients.”
She has many favorite masters who have always inspired her; Degas, Van Gogh, Klimt; but she also greatly admires the work of Nicolai Fechin. “I love the vibrancy in his use of color. The movement of his brush strokes exudes excitement, yet he allows the viewer’s eye to slow down when you observe his subject’s face. There, the attention to detail introduces you to his subject more intimately. That’s what I hope my audience feels when they view my work; a connectedness to it.” In American Western Art she holds Howard Terpning, Stan Davis, and Roy Andersen in high regard. “When I first saw Howard Terpning’s work, it struck a chord. That is the style I chose to emulate. I would love to meet him someday. I’m inspired by so many artists and many genres and techniques it’s hard to name them all. I can never learn enough; I’m driven to improve. Every painting I begin and every painting I finish, is a milestone in my journey to become a better artist. It’s all significant, no matter how large or small the composition; no matter how simple or complex.”
“I love to paint people, and take great care in painting their facial expression, especially the eyes. I firmly believe in the old saying ‘the eyes are the window of the soul. I develop a relationship with my subject and I demand nothing less than honesty in my portrayal of them. Their life’s and experiences are present in their eyes. Who am I to paint them, if I can’t get that right? If I get it right, the viewer can see who the subject is, but can also see who the painter is. Isn’t that an amazing concept?”
The northern lakes country, the plains and the west have an especially strong tug at her heart strings.
“I’m a very spiritual person. I’m very connected to the natural beauty of our land, and proud to be an American. It’s hard to put into words how very blessed we are to live in such a magnificent country. In Minnesota alone, we have Lake Superior with it’s rocky cliffs and shores, thousands of beautiful lakes, rivers and streams, lush forests and valleys, rich farmland, and wind whipped grassy plains. With lake-studded Wisconsin to our east, the rich farmlands of Iowa to the south and the sensuous plains and ruggedly beautiful Badlands of the Dakotas to our west, we have the best of everything all around us. This diverse landscape in the United States is our national treasure. When I paint, my thankfulness for it all flows from me. In art, my emotions have a vehicle for expression. I’ll never run out of inspiration for paintings and I’ll never stop thanking God for his great goodness.”
All artworks are copyrighted Peggy R. Selander©. All rights reserved. You may not use, copy or edit Peggy R. Selander’s works. No unauthorized publication permitted including on other sites.
Peggy was among twenty artists selected for the 5th Annual 2009 Art on the Edge juried art exhibit. Esteemed juror Cecilia Lieder, well known artist printmaker, chose “Indigo” for 1st prize in the two dimensional art category. Peggy also won the People’s Choice award for her painting New York Night Lights in Snow.
Peggy also won People’s Choice in the 6th Annual 2010 Art on the Edge juried art exhibit with her painting Sisters Watching.
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