Emerging Artist | Peggy McGivern

By Bonnie Gangelhoff

Escape From Monterey Bay by Peggy McGivern

Witty and whimsical are two words that go a long way in describing Peggy McGivern’s foray into the world of three-dimensional art. Known for lively and colorful paintings, McGivern is currently blending her interest in depicting animals, figures, and landscapes with found objects. She may paint a bevy of boats at sea, for example, and then place a row of tiny toy sloops on the top ledge of the canvas. She has dubbed her new style “contemporary expressionist folk art.”

At times, it’s the three-dimensional objects that inspire a painting, as in a recent work featuring an army of plastic wind-up toy nuns; other times the painting comes first. “I really want to convey that art doesn’t have to be so serious,” the Colorado-based artist says. “For me, there is no greater compliment than someone laughing at my work.”

While some of McGivern’s works have a political message, she often follows a serious piece with one that possesses what she calls “the fun factor.” As she says, “There is something to be said for standing alone in your studio and giggling at the final placement of a flying cow above your latest work.”

McGivern’s works are on view through April 5 at Abend Gallery in Denver, CO. She is also represented by Gallery A, Taos, NM; Joe Wade Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM; and Lucas Gallery, Telluride, CO.

Featured in “Artists to Watch” April 2006