Peggi Habets is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who returned to her roots after living and working as a graphic designer and art director in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia. Returning to her roots however, meant more than just physically relocating. She also returned to her creative roots of drawing and painting, something she had done throughout her childhood and young adult life. For as long as she could remember, Peggi has aspired to be a professional working artist.
Upon returning to Pittsburgh and starting a family with her husband Yves, Peggi began taking art classes and workshops to get reacquainted with her skills. She quickly acclimated to the fine arts community of Pittsburgh by joining arts groups, volunteering her time, and serving on several boards. This allowed her to associate with and learn from other, more established artists, while raising her three boys. After several years of intense study and practice, she found her niche in contemporary, figurative watercolor and has developed a thriving art business out of her home studio that includes commissioned portraiture, gallery representation, and teaching workshops around the country.
Peggi’s influences come from her Italian/Slovak background and growing up in the steel mill towns of Pittsburgh. She tends to gravitate towards ordinary, hardworking people as subjects for her paintings. These are people who have stories to tell and hardships to overcome. Instead of realistically depicting every detail in the paintings, she often suggests the person’s surroundings through her use of color, design, shape, and value. These narrative paintings are realistic in nature, but preserve enough ambiguity to add interest to the viewer’s experience.
She is also influenced by many contemporary artists who are working today, and counts among her heroes watercolor artists such as Mary Whyte, Dean Mitchell, Burton Silverman, and Guan Weixing. Andrew Wyeth, John Singer Sargent, and Anders Zorn are the master watercolorists whose books she has pored over, time and again. Their realistic depiction of ordinary people are what draws her to their work. The emotional nature of their paintings, as well as the perfect technical and design skills, are what continue to inspire her own art.
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 this series, she is exploring 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 beauty of the subjects.
In the past 15 years, Peggi has written a book on watercolor portraiture, has been published in many high-profile art magazines, won numerous national and international awards, and has been invited to teach watercolor workshops around the country. She is thrilled to be able to live out her dream of making a living as a self-employed, professional artist. She also loves to spend time with her now-grown boys and husband of almost 30 years. In her free time, she loves to garden, hike, practice yoga and meditation, and travel. She thanks her wonderful clients and collectors for their support and patronage over the years, and looks forward to the many new challenges her work will bring in the years to come.