Peggy Black

When we moved to Fernie, and I joined the Arts Station I had no idea that “becoming an artist” would be part of my creative evolution. A few years prior to retirement I studied interior design in an attempt to solve an anticipated problem of how to keep busy in Fernie. Keeping busy turned out to be no problem at all! My background also includes a long ago diploma in fashion design followed by co-owning an exclusive women’s wear store in Regina, Saskatchewan for over 30 years. Graphic design, interior design, display and merchandising has always been part of my life; add crafting, sewing and a bit of art along the way and these gave me the creative tools to work with. 

Looking at art online has been an immense inspiration for me and when travelling abroad, David and I are drawn to modern art galleries. I am inspired by cleaner, more simple images set in modern frames, and this is reflected in my work. I am constantly surprised that my creations which begin with an idea from a previous image end up as an entirely different work of art.

Having finished the house renovations (isn’t that what one does when retiring here?) I found myself “needing” a modern piece of black and white art to finish off the living room. After a futile search of pieces that seemed too busy, it occurred to me that I could create my own. Famous last words… but in this case (after a number of failed attempts) I liked the results. Suddenly I was inspired to continue producing these very abstract images using black acrylic wall paint, cheap sponge brushes and adding small touches (aka blobs) of colour. Don’t get me wrong, only about 1/4 of the images were successes, the rest hit the garbage. From this, Abstract Thoughts - my first show at the Arts Station, came about. 

At the time, I had decided that one show was all I had in me until I thought that I should try my hand at colour… a big leap. From there I moved away from abstracts and was inspired to experiment. My journey continued (with appropriate art supplies) to canvas, pen and ink, mixed media and alcohol ink. Needless to say, my second Arts Station show was an eclectic mix. Aside from the fun I was having, 90%of it sold and no one was more surprised than me.

Before the end of the show, I was already on to my next ideas which are as varied as ever. Staying home last spring and creating art was the epitome of self-care and time spent in my studio using my now non-stop creative brain was a very inspiring and positive experience. There were numerous times over the summer that my mountain biking group knew they were dragging me out of my “happy place.” How lucky am I?

The mountains, forest and trees all speak to me (it’s no wonder I didn’t paint in the prairies) and I can’t imagine being inspired to take this creative journey anywhere else. The Arts Station and the art community here have been paramount to my confidence and success.  

Peggy Black’s exhibit Abstracts and Outdoor Thoughts will displayed at the Fernie Arts Station this November. Peggy has created beautiful pieces with the gift of giving in mind. Visit theartstation.com to learn more.