Updated: Nov 25, 2018
Originally from California, Peggy Murray has lived in New Hampshire for over 30 years. Teaching at the University and raising a family is now behind her and she devotes herself to the practice of painting. She studied mainly in the studio of Adeline Goldminc-Tronzo, and also with Michael Tronzo, both of whom studied at the Art Students League of New York. She loves painting plein air with pals with whom she’s painted now for almost 20 years. She mainly works in her studio making still life, figurative, and landscape paintings from life, from drawings, and from photographic reference.
“I am always thinking about light. My first decade of painting, the challenge was to capture form accurately by seeing how light molds itself around particular things. That means finding the darks as well. I was studying the anatomy of forms. Recently I found an old artist statement in which I called myself a tonal painter. I think that was accurate then. Finding form in those lights and darks was such a challenge that I think color, and a deeper understanding of its workings, took a backseat in my work.
Light is still the primary driver for me, but these days I am reaching for a resonance in the colors used to create the light and dark planes. I think of the colors on my palette as the actors in a play. Each color has a role to play, and every role, no matter how small, is important for creating a reality on the canvas. Colors need to play off each other’s strengths and vulnerabilities to fulfill something greater than themselves. I get to be their set designer, choreographer, and director. This process of learning about color is slowing me down, making me spend more time looking and exploring, and looking again. I find satisfaction more elusive, but I keep showing up ready to roll up my sleeves. As they say in the theater before a performance: “Break a leg!””