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Peggy Bell

Peggy Bell, Artist

Peggy Bell, AOCA, BEd. Is an abstract painter from Toronto, now living in Victoria BC. From a tradition in landscape painting she has developed a visual language in abstraction.

Peggy studied at the Ontario College of Art, graduating in 1982. A student of colour, she had the opportunity to develop this strength with Francois Thepot. Peggy was awarded the Nora E Vaughan Scholarship for Excellence in Painting in 1980 at the college.

For eighteen years Peggy taught high school art in Toronto. Teaching strong design principles to students had an impact in her developing creative work. Upon retirement in 2016 she immersed herself in landscape painting, mostly in the Muskoka area of Ontario. The desire for greater freedom of expression through colour attracted her to abstraction. She sought a considered approach to abstract painting. The pursuit of more genuine choices in painting led her to systematic and deductive explorations of form and colour. Current influences are Louis Morris, Jack Bush and Gerhard Richter.

Peggy now works daily in her studio as a member of Errant ArtSpace in Victoria. Every colour choice, every gesture, every surface treatment and the resulting object should be produced from acts of meaning making. That is the goal.

Artist Statement

Peggy explores abstraction using acrylics. What is seen and felt about her environment, has a hand in determining her choices. She lives in a city, in a troubled world, not far from stunning, but threatened, nature; and, the work evokes these accordingly.

Often Peggy will execute more than one piece at a time, utilizing similar but varied colours. Limiting tools and materials allows her to dig deeper into the possibilities that present themselves. The capabilities of the medium influence her responses. Painting is a meditative and purposeful act of meaning-making. The process involves a continuous series of choices that speak to previous decisions. The resulting art objects are, although influenced by many who came before her, uniquely her own.

The pieces on view at Merrick Gallery are from a series called, “ParCells”. Par - refers to the equality of Peggy’s process in the creation of each object. Cell - refers to the illusion of the roundish casement or parcel. One could think of a visual package that She is bringing forward to a future world. Or not. They really are just abstractions.