I find the sacred in everyday objects and appreciate the indulgence of artists that do. My house is filled with odd tidbits that have called out to me from here and there–things with which I cannot part for reasons unknown.
Peg Grady is a kindred spirit.
July marks the first month of the $2 Art Contest. The purpose of the contest was not to get rich, but to force myself to regularly review the work submitted to me by artists. Now you will get monthly Featured Artists, not quarterly or whenever the mood strikes me.
When choosing to force myself to be more diligent about posting Featured Artists, I neglected to account for how hard it would be for me to chose only one. I contemplated giving 2nd and 3rd place, but felt it somehow took away from the true winner–Peg Grady.
When I started investigating Peg Grady’s work, I was immediately drawn to her paintings and drawings that often take on the appearance of oil pastels and often incorporate a whimsy of color and typography. But once I found The Perfect Word Series, I was hooked. The work was, well, reverential…from a distance.
I noticed a statement on Grady’s site apart from her Artist Statement specifically for The Perfect Word: “An old thesaurus’s yellowed pages containing outdated phrases such as ‘apple pie order,’ ‘pretty kettle of fish’ and ‘tittle-tattle’ evoke a sense of history that delights me, sending me back to my elementary school classroom where the teacher told us of the value of Roget’s (not the dictionary style) thesaurus and how it branched off with differing shades of meaning, leading you to the perfect word.”
This led me back to the work, where I used the built-in magnifier to examine the details that tied it all together.
The simply whimsy in sacred found objects is all tied together in the simplicity of The Perfect Word.
Some of you may recall that I send out a questionnaire to all of my potential Featured Artists that asks a variety of questions from favorite foods to artistic influences, and I couldn’t wait to read Peg Grady’s answers to see if I really could have developed a picture of who she was based on this short series of work.
Artistic influences? Betye Saar, famous for her assemblage work, seems fitting. Robert Rauchenberg reinforced assemblage as Grady’s true love. Romare Bearden rounds it out.
Foods? Dark Chocolate and Almonds–indulgent. I would expect no less.
When asked if she liked to collaborate with others, she matter-of-factly explained that she doesn’t “play well with others. But I do run with scissors.” A woman after my own heart.
I have fallen in love with The Perfect Word series, and my heart is singing to hear that The Perfect Game series featuring a vintage book of solitaire layouts is in the works.
How did Peg Grady develop into the artist she is? Maybe it all ties back to her childhood…
“I was born in New York City where I appreciated the dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History much more than the Monets at the Modern. Finally I got older and (hopefully) wiser, became a California girl and fell in love with art.”
Thank you, Peg Grady for the reverence with which you treat the written word and for creating work that makes us think. Thank you for artwork that both celebrates and believes in the ability of the child in all of us to remember the whimsy of our childhood with the sacredness it deserves.
Discover Peg Grady’s artwork on your own at:
Just a side note, Peg Grady embodies many of the tips that I preach in “The Art of Cooking (aka How to Get an Art Show)” Investigate and learn.