Anna and I traveled down to Taos the other day to see Peggy and Don Baucom. You’ve heard of Peggy and Don before because they are the people who adopted my dear Beau (see previous post Rescued Puppy, Beau, Lands the Good Life). We were welcomed into their lovely home and spent some time with Peggy in her gorgeous studio. For you see, Peggy is an artist as well, and I thought it was high time I told you all about her.
Peggy’s own artist’s bio tells her story so well, I’m going to quote her here:
“Peggy comes from a family of painters and began her own painting career while living in Madrid, Spain, in the mid-1960s. During these years, visits to Madrid’s El Prado Museum sharpened her sense of color and form. Seeing original works of the great masters also inspired a lasting interest in Art History that culminated in her taking a BA degree in Art History from the University of Colorado in the late 1970s.
Her understanding of art and appreciation for the great masters was deepened while she was working for almost twenty years in the Education Department of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In 2003, she retired from the Gallery and moved to Taos to focus on her own painting.
In the process she uses to create her art, she begins by layering paint and building up texture. From this process, an image begins to emerge, inspiring a concept that she then explores by adding different colors. At times, she uses variations in the original motif and colors to continue a thought or storyline into other paintings, giving rise to a series of related works.
Letting a work of art lead you where it will is risky—sometimes it works, at times it does not. But success and failure are one’s constant companions in the creative journey, which is always exciting and challenging. Regardless of the outcome, the joy of creating is always its own reward.”
I first met Peggy when she was here, in Truchas, painting with a group of plein air painters in the front yard of Hand Artes Gallery. She is a practiced realist painter of genuine skill. But it is her more interpretive pieces, those whose process she describes above, that most intrigue me. She seems to capture the mystical energy of the old ones—the ancients—those who went before—in these works. That she allows them to be birthed through her, without any predetermined thought to form or design, is testament to the magic available to each of us if we can just step out of our own way. Peggy is an adept conduit for visual messages that come from, where? Our collective unconscious?
Her paintings speak of ancient times. They are a language, like living, modern-day petroglyphs. To be in their presence is a powerful experience.
We ended our lovely day in Taos at the historic Taos Inn where Peggy and Don took us to lunch. Anna and I remarked on our drive back up the mountain that the day felt like a vacation. Thank you Peggy and Don (and Beau) for inviting us into your lives.
You can purchase cards and giclees of Peggy’s work at JLI Prints, or visit Jack Leustig’s Gallery in Arroyo Seco, just north of Taos, to pick out your pieces in person. To inquire about original paintings, you may reach Peggy through the blog.
Love to you all,