Contributors

How Peggy Got Back into Painting!


Hi everyone! It’s Peggy, Jillian’s mama! I am so excited to be taking over her blog again today! Over the course of the last year, I started painting again, and I forgot how much joy and relaxation it brought me. So today I wanted to share how I learned how to paint and how you can get your hands on some of my paintings in the near future! 😉 Also, if you missed my previous blogs on Jillian’s website, you can check them out here!

Ever since I was a child, I was very aware of my strongest sense, which was sight. I’ve always been very visual. Memories of being on my Grandparent’s farm are forever etched in my mind. Granny was an amazing gardener, both floral and vegetable. There’s no doubt that Grandpa played an integral part by plowing and working the rich soil in achieving this amazingly beautiful kaleidoscope of every colour. I vividly recall the poppies in an array of pinks, reds and whites. There were the tallest delphiniums that towered over the snapdragons, the brilliant orange nasturtiums, roses, sunflowers and tulips in the spring. What a treasure it was to stroll through her flower garden. And of course, there was nothing better than picking a pail full of peas and eating them as quickly as I put them in the pail! Lol! Or even walking through the willow trees bush adjacent to the house where bluebells, buttercups, and wild strawberries grew. I am forever grateful to have these precious memories. I truly believe that this is where my eye was trained to appreciate nature in all of its splendour!

Peggy, Jillian Harris' mother's easel set up in her office with a painting of flowers on the easel.

How I learned to paint

When I was only about 14 years old, a local man who worked with my father (who just so happened to be infamous for stretching the truth on many occasions!) was telling my father and myself what an amazing artist he was and that he had painted these masterpieces. Well, me being me, l called him on it and let him know that I would love to come over to his house and see them. I arranged a time to visit him and low and behold, hanging on his walls were the most gorgeous paintings! I vowed to never disbelieve what he had to say from there on in. I told him that I would love to learn to paint like he did, and the following week he invited me over to instruct me on how to paint! In fact, I still have that painting which was my first and actually, it’s quite impressive! At least I like to think it is! Lol! After spending several weekly painting lessons with him, he said to me, “I have a surprise for you,” as he opened his vintage suitcase full of oil paints, thinners, brushes, palette knives, you name it, he had every tool to engage in a future of exploring art. He handed the suitcase over to me and said; “I’m getting too old, but you have many years to perfect your oil painting style!”

Peggy Harris getting back into painting by painting a tropical scene.

Where I draw inspiration from

Before I was 4 years old I valued what this earth had to offer. From this early age, it was definitely was my inspiration later in life when I wanted to paint and revive the artist within me! Then of course, there were additional influencers in my life that fed my visual soul such as my Aunty Dorothy, who used to draw and make paper dolls with the most stylish clothes! Not to mention, my mother always had such a creative side that throughout my life, I modelled myself after.

My mother used to sell the World Book Encyclopedia which also had a very impactful influence on me. I would lay in bed for hours looking through the Art section in awe of the ability that artists were able to create such incredible masterpieces! I quickly found myself being drawn to a particular style of painting. I loved Monet’s work or any other Impressionistic painting style. Although I do love and admire realism, my style is more impressionistic loose and carefree. My sister, Patsy, on the other hand, tends to paint more in realism style. She’s developed a style that is simply perfection! I’ve learned a lot from her and we tend to always inspire and motivate one another.

Peggy Harris' art on her desk.
Peggy Harris holding a framed painting of an outdoor scene with trees, a field and a rolling green hill in the background.

How I got back into painting

Sadly though, I went many years where I could not pick up a paintbrush during my darkest days when I was struggling with depression (if you want to read more about my mental health journey, you can check it out here!). They say first the action and then the feeling. So I would try, but the creativity simply wasn’t there. Thankfully, these days my creative juices are flowing once again! I’m observant to the million ideas of subjects that I could paint. Whether it be driving down a country road, visiting a vineyard, looking up at the sky and its myriad of cloud formations, flowers in my garden. The list goes on. There’s never a shortage of inspiration! This past year I converted one of our guest bedrooms into an Art Studio! It has been so wonderful to have this space where I can go and escape into painting! I’ve also been taking Art classes from one of my most admired local artists, Ann Willsie. Recently we went to a Vineyard and Plein Air painted. It was just what the doctor ordered! If you are in Kelowna and looking for an amazing art teacher, be sure to reach out to Ann, she is amazing!

For Mother’s Day, Jillian organized the most beautiful Plein Air outdoor painting adventure at their new farm! It was a beautiful temperature outside, and I was surrounded by some of my favourite ladies and great food! I was so impressed with Jillian, Tori, and Stephanie’s paintings. Yes, artistic talent quite often runs in families.

Peggy Harris' spare room that she converted into a painting studio.

My favourite painting style

Years ago when Jillian was still a baby, I was on the Peace River Art Board and delved into watercolour painting. Throughout the years I decided to go back to oil painting, which I had learned initially. I love the buttery texture of the oil paint and the ability to go in to fix something. Whereas watercolour is pretty much permanent once you add the pigment to the paper.

Peggy's collection of oil paint colours.
Peggy's paint brushes, mixing palette, and a few tubes of oil paint colours.
Peggy Harris applying dark purple oil paint to her painting palette.

I am so excited to have gotten back into painting over the last several years. So much so, that I am currently working on my very own Etsy shop to bring some of my favourite prints to you! So keep your eyes peeled. I’m hoping to have that up and running in the next couple of months!

If you have any questions about painting, oil painting, or any of the supplies I use, make sure to leave them in the comments below!

Until next time!

Peggy

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  1. I love reading your posts. You are truly inspiring 💕Your mental health struggle gives me hope for those who suffer. Thank you

  2. Peggy when I read your blog, the thing that resonated with me was when you talked about your sister. I too refer to my sister on a daily basis and ask her advice on my paintings. She is an inspiration and very good artist. And yes artistic ability runs in the family….My mom used to sew our clothes when we were young and dressed us up in identical checked outfits! I would love to meet you! I am now creating clothing from my art!

  3. Hi Peggy,

    Love your blog! I noticed you have a beautiful carpet on the floor near your desk where you paint. Where did you find that?

    Looking foward to hearing back from you!

    Brenda

  4. Peggy, you’re such an inspiration! I read your first article and have watched you really shine these past few years. I love that you have this talent that your sharing!
    You’ve inspired so many people and I look forward to seeing Your incredible pieces of art!

  5. Can’t wait to see more of your work, Peggy. This post has inspired me to take out my painting tools and find my inner creativity! ❤️

  6. This was great to read Peggy because I took watercolor lessons many years ago when my kids were young. I stopped as life became much more complicated. I’m 70 now & I retired last year. I need a hobby so maybe this will serve as motivation for me to get bsck to it.Thx! Ykur paintings are wonderful.

  7. So happy you’ve found that “second wind” to share your talent with us! Can’t wait to see your creativity on Etsy!

  8. Peggy you are so inspiring! I am not a good artist but I did sign up for a painting class to help with some anxiety I have. Your work is so beautiful and I’m hoping to be able to purchase one of your beautiful pieces in the future! Xoxo

  9. The Harris women totally ROCK!

    Peggy you are an amazing and truly inspirational woman. ❤ Jillian you are blessed to have this woman you call Momma 🙏

  10. I cant wait for the Etsy shop to be live, I would love to own a painting from Mama Peggy. Incredible talent! Beautiful!

  11. Love your story! I’ve always admired artists as they bring so much joy and beauty to the world. Keep it up!

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