Margaret “Peggy” Duff is an impressionistic artist—although her son calls it a loose homey style.
She graduated college with a Graphic Artist Degree and worked for an advertising agency the next five years. In 1978, she met her husband the following year they were married and shortly after the wedding she and her 7-year-old son moved to Arkansas. Back then there was not any advertising agencies and the only job available was in a golf bag factory. She continued paint with oils and could be seen in a local craft store teaching Bob Ross technique. Everyone left the class with a happy tree or two. She went on exploring with several paint mediums such as, pastels, acrylics and has recently added watercolor to her repertoire.
For as long as she can remember, art has been part of Peggy. Her mom said that before she could walk, she’d pull herself up in her crib, throw her glass bottle over the side onto the hard wood floors and laugh at the design the milk made on the floor.
In elementary school, she was blessed with an amazing art teacher who imparted valuable information, such as perspective drawing, which incubated within Peggy. Teachers often asked Peggy to do special projects. For example, she created the backdrop for a teacher’s retirement party. The backdrop consisted of large panels of blackboard paper, each of which reflected the seasons by depicting various hunting scenes.
In high school, Peggy spent every free moment in a small room connected to an art classroom where she could work on her own creative projects. Although Peggy was not outgoing, students knew her through her award-winning art. In college she received an associate degree in Advertising/Graphic Art.
After five years of working for an advertising agency and becoming well-known in her area, she resigned. Her employer warned that there was little work for her chosen profession. How right he was! For the next ten years, she worked in a golf bag factory.
Eventually she was hired as the computer lab manager in an elementary school. Having a love for computers, Peggy moved from being an elementary computer lab manager to Technology Coordinator to working with demographics at the Arkansas Department of Education and finally to a school district to help with their demographics. Four years later, she retired—to her art!
Peggy was born in Muskegon, Michigan, seventy years ago. When she was twenty-seven, her mom’s brother and his friend, both from Arkansas, visited one summer. A year later, that friend became Peggy’s husband, and she and her seven-year-old son moved to Arkansas. While none of her three children have become artists, many of Peggy’s nine grandchildren love to do and share their artwork with her.
In her younger days, seeing Peggy in overalls as she helped a cow with calving was not unusual. Her husband even bought her a set of chains designed especially for pulling calves. Although a youthful desire to become a veterinarian never came to fruition, her passion for animals is often reflected in her paintings.
After God and family, “Art” is Peggy’s great love. While it has always been her hobby, a severe injury to her right shoulder prevented her from painting for about fifteen frustrating years, during which her passion for art was unquenched. As her Artist Statement conveys, “My art represents—My feelings—My happiness—My love of life.”
Peggy’s paintings are in the Randolph County Heritage Museum (Pocahontas), Spring River Art Gallery (Hardy), Gallery 246 (Batesville), and the ACNA (Cherokee Village). She was also recently featured in The Delta Crossroads magazine, and the Avenue magazine.