“Painting was a plaything, a diversion,” said Peg. She and her husband Mel are newer residents at Concordia at Sumner having moved two years ago from their home on 18 acres in Mansfield, OH.
The couple chose a Villa and feel they made the right decision.
“This is a warm, happy community and has become like family,” she said.
Peg only began to paint when she retired from nursing after a car accident that left her unable to perform CPR. She did her nurses training at Presbyterian Hospital, and it was there she met her husband when he was one of her patients.
“After we married we relocated to Vandergrift where my husband was a pattern maker for a foundry,” Peg said. “Then I was busy raising four kids and working the night shift in the ER at a local community hospital.”
After 21 years in her career, she found time to develop the gift she never knew she had. She converted a room in the basement to her studio and began working with oils, because she loved the brightness of the vivid colors. Never having any formal training (and not even an art class in the one-room schoolhouse she attended in Beaver, PA as a child), she enrolled in six evening classes with a local artist at a nearby high school and tried her hand at pastels.
“I threw away a lot, and painted those subjects I was drawn to,” Peg remembered.
Her wrist was terribly injured from the car accident and she had multiple eye surgeries, so she gave up the chalk because the dust was too risky.
“I switched to watercolors because the lines are not distinct,” she said. The more impressionistic style suited her as her eyesight was failing, rendering her legally blind.
Despite the late development of what she refers to as a hobby, she credits her parent’s encouragement to tackle whatever she enjoyed as the influence that helped her pursue this form of art.
“My mom loved to create natural crafts from their farm, like corn husk dolls and wreaths,” Peg explained. “And Dad taught me to see and love what grew from the soil.” She said he was a keen observer who noticed even the smallest plant and saw beauty in a tiny bug or a simple puddle.
Peg is thankful that her granddaughter Madeleine (one of her 10 grandchildren) realized “the art gene” earlier than she did. Having received a full scholarship, Madeline is graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in architectural design.
As far as her own work goes, Peg has trouble picking a favorite. Several family pictures are special, but she is partial to an oil of her twins on their great grandfather’s lap.
“They were a year old and wore pink and white sleepers, and Pap Pap looks just like my husband,” she said.
She does have a favorite artist, however: Frederick Remington, an American painter who specialized in depictions of the American Old West. He focused on scenes from the last quarter of the 19th century in the Western United States, featuring images of cowboys, American Indians and the U.S. Cavalry.
Besides her painting, which keeps her busy for long hours, Peg enjoys gardening and spending part of her day at Concordia at Sumner’s onsite indoor pool, participating in exercise classes.
To learn more about the retirement living options and senior care services offered at Concordia at Sumner in Copley, OH, visit www.ConcordiaAtSumner.org or schedule a tour today. Call 330-664-1000 or message us through the Contact Form on our website. To request a free copy of the 2019 Concordia Calendar, “Brush Strokes,” call the Public Relations Department at 724-352-1571, ext. 8266.