“Having lived the last 28 years of my life in the South Carolina Lowcountry area in general and most particularly in the once sleepy village of Bluffton, I feel somewhat qualified to portray what I know and love most about the area in this series of paintings. In a native’s eyes I know I would still be considered a Com’ hea and not a ben’ hea but still, I have something to say about some of the secret places.
“I choose to paint the landscape because it is what drew me to the area in the first place. I believe everyone who sees this place falls for it. I am concerned with trying to capture the spirit of the places that are rapidly changing, if not disappearing altogether. I am drawn to places where the touch of man’s hand has been slight and the power of nature can still be felt. The wide seas of marsh grasses blurring off into the distance where a magnificent evening or morning sky bends down to touch the grass soothes my soul, and reminds me there are some things in life man can not mess with, at least for now.
“I work to portray my personal feeling of the scene by using bright color and bold strokes to describe the form and movement of the subject. My subject matter is recognizable but not necessarily realistic or what you might see if you looked at the same scene alongside me as I painted. I am attracted to the way light and shadow play off each other and how atmosphere engulfs an object and diffuses that object. Color excites me and the painting may change many times over the course of the process. As I start painting I may have a vision of what the final rendering will look like finished. Something totally different may emerge by the end.
“I paint with pastels mostly, and my style is usually more linear, rather like a form of painterly calligraphy. To achieve my desired result I build layers of colors and strokes on top of each other starting with the darkest darks and building up to the highlights.
“Some of the paintings in this series are done in acrylics on gessoed board or gessoed canvas. I have been experimenting and using acrylics more lately as I find I miss the feel of a brush in my hand. I like the way I can use thin glazes of colors over other colors. At a distance you may see just one color, but look closer and you see that color is made up of several layers. Some of my pastel paintings start out with a thin acrylic underpainting to get in the large masses and darkest darks, thus I get the best of both mediums.”
– Peggy Duncan
Peggy Duncan’s new work will be at the Charles Street Gallery from March 28th through April 18th, with a reception with the artist on Friday, March 28th. The Charles Street Gallery is an established source for Lowcountry and International art, presented within a carefully renovated house surrounded by a lush garden in the middle of Beaufort’s historic district. 914 Charles Street, 521-9054, www.thecharlesstreetgallery.com