Contemplating the purpose of painting
This story was featured in the August 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Before landscape painter Peggy Immel begins a new piece, she always asks herself the same question: “Why are you painting this?” Then she writes down her answer and refers back to it throughout the painting process to help her stay focused on the original intention and ultimate goal of the piece. “I believe the ‘why’ of a painting matters more than the ‘what,’” Immel says. Sometimes the “why” relates to visual aspects such as light, color, or contrast, while other times it’s more of a philosophical goal that attracts her to a particular subject. Ultimately, she says, “The most exciting pieces to paint have both a visual and philosophical foundation.”
Immel’s passion for landscape painting began in childhood and has continued throughout her life, enhanced by her experiences as an avid hiker, climber, skier, and general outdoor enthusiast. “I love exploring, and each new situation offers a whole world of visual puzzles to solve,” she says, adding, “The landscape and man’s place in it is an unending well of fascination for me.” For the past 12 years, the artist has been drawing from the well of stunning scenery that surrounds her home in Taos, NM—and she has yet to come up dry. “Taos is a village infused with the spirit of art and surrounded by an incredible landscape bathed in perfect, clear light,” Immel says. “It is a landscape painter’s heaven, the perfect studio.” —Lindsay Mitchell
Featured in the August 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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