February Meeting 2018
Peggi Habets is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has been painting professionally for almost 2 decades. She found her niche in contemporary, figurative watercolor and has developed a thriving art career from her home studio that includes commissioned portraiture, gallery representation, and teaching workshops around the country.
Peggi has written a book on watercolor portraiture titled Watercolor Made Easy: Portraits. She has been published in many high-profile art magazines, such as Watercolor Artist, The Art of Watercolour and Pratique des Artes. Peggi’s work has won numerous awards in national and international exhibitions, including the American Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society International Exhibitions. She was one of 170 artists selected from almost 7,000 entries to be included in the Shanghai Biennial Watercolour Exhibition and her work was included in the Shenzhen Biennial Watercolour Exhibition, touring eight cities throughout China. She has been invited to teach watercolor workshops for watercolor societies around the country and a Master Class at the renowned Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.
Peggi’s influences come from her Italian/Slovak immigrant background and growing up in the steel mill town of Pittsburgh. She tends to gravitate towards ordinary, hardworking people as subjects for her paintings. These are people who have stories to tell and struggles to overcome. Instead of realistically depicting every detail in the paintings, she often suggests the person’s surroundings through her use of color, design, symbolism, shape, and value. These narrative paintings are realistic in nature, but preserve enough ambiguity to add interest to the viewer’s experience.
Peggi’s paintings are constantly evolving as she challenges herself to say more with less. She strives to keep her watercolors fresh with minimal brushstrokes, fluid washes, and pure pigment. Painting in a series has allowed her to explore many ways to depict one subject. For instance, she is currently working a series of paintings and drawings of dancers in which she explores mixed media, incorporation of abstract elements, color, variation of edges, and gesture in order to create the right mood, emotion, or narrative. Even in these dance paintings, she is drawn to the hard work and struggle of the dancers, as opposed to the more traditional “beautiful dancer” paintings.
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