I SAW A COW, AND I DREW A COW – PEGGY JUDY

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Peggy Judy

Born and raised in Colorado, attended Colorado State University receiving a BFA in Illustration. Married to an equine veterinarian, raising two children and breeding, raising and training horses for thirty years left little time to pursue a career in art until the last five years or so. Now represented by top art galleries with an emphasis on contemporary western art around the country.

My work has been categorized as Contemporary Western. Traditional and well honored western subject matter with a different perspective and expressive interpretation. Using a more graphic approach to composition and design that comes from my illustration background I try to describe the intensity of the west as it was lived in the past and still is today by a select few of weathered souls. Portray the animals that still grace our western states and those that care for them.

My work resides here in the USA as well as the UK and Europe. I have been honored with acceptance into Major Western Art Shows and Museum around the western United States.

Publication features

Jackson’s Fine Art Blog (UK) https://www.jacksonsart.com/blog/2019/08/23/horse-stubbs-birthday/

Featured Artist Article “Southwest Art Magazine” August 2018

Published in: “The Book of the Horse” Horses in Art by Angus Hyland (published in the UK)

Featured Artist Article “Chrome Magazine Spring” 2018

Featured Artist Article “Southwest Art Magazine” Auguust 2017

Awards and Recognition

2019 Cheyenne Frontier Days Invitational Art Show, Cheyenne, CO

2019 Cowgirl Up “Art from the Other half of the West” Wickensburg, AZ

2018 Solo Show “Life in the West” in conjunction with Cultura del Vaquero and Fort Worth Stock Show, Fort Worth, TX

2018 Mountain Oyster Club Western Art Show and Sale, Tucson, AZ

2018 Goodnight Barn Invitational Art show and Sale

2018 EightxEight Art Invitational Sale, Dallas, Texas

2017 Goodnight Barn Invitational Art Show and Sale Sangre de Cristo Art   Center, Pueblo, CO

2017 EightxEight Art Invitational Sale, Dallas, Texas

2017 Mountain Oyster Club Western Art Show and Sale, Tucson, AZ

2017 Cowgirl Up “Art from the Other half of the West” Wickensburg, AZ

2016 Cowgirl Up “Art from the Other half of the West” Wickenburg, AZ

2016 Mountain Oyster Club Western Art show and Sale, Tucson, AZ

2016 Western-Life Art Invitational Ranch Show, Douglas County, Colorado

2016 Stampede Western Art Invitational

2016 EightxEight Art Invitational Sale, Dallas, Texas

2016 Art in the Park, Denver, CO Featured Artist and Juror

2016 Windows to the West Art Show and Sale Estes Park, CO

2015 Mountain Oyster Club, Western Art Show and Sale, Tucson, AZ

2015 EightxEight Invitational Art Show and Sale, Museum of Biblical Art,  Dallas, TX

2015 (2016) Stampede Western Invitational Art Exhibit and Sale. Greeley Stampede Rodeo, June/July 2015

2015 Coors Western Art Show and Sale, Denver, CO

2014 Evergreen Fine Art Fall Juried Show 3rd Place  “The Stampede”

2013 1st Place Western Art, Tesoro Spanish Culture and Western Heritage Art Show, Morrison, CO (Jurors: C. Patterson, former Chief Conservator Denver Art   Museum, J. Herold, Curator Emeritus of Ethology at Denver museum of nature and Science, M. Brown, Mayer Center Fellow in Spanish Colonial Art, Denver Art Museum.)

2013 1st Place Painting Category, Golden Fines Arts Festival Golden,CO 

2012 Best of Show Award Tesoro Spanish Culture and Western Heritage Art Show, Morrison, CO

Independence Gallery, “Women and the Power of the Horse” Sept. 2012 Loveland, CO


“Ken Ratner Collection”

Mattatuck Museum, CT January 2014 

The Rockwell Museum of Western Art New York,  NY Exhibition Sept. 2014

Bone Creek Museum, Nebraska 2014

St. George Museum, St. George, UT 2014

Gallery Representation

Ann Korologos Gallery, Basalt, CO

Horton Fine Art, Beaver Creek, CO

Wilde Meyer Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

Mary Williams Fine Art Gallery, Boulder, CO

Equis Gallery, Red Hook, NY

Western Star Gallery Lyons, CO

Art Resource Gallery, Minn., MN

Summit Gallery Park City, UT

Western Skies Fine Art  Afton, WY

Contact information:

Peggy Judy

43776 Cottonwood Creek Road

Crawford, CO 81415

303-475-2608

caduceusf@mac.com

Website: PeggyJudyFineArt.com

Western Pursuits

Peggy Judy portrays the life that has been close to her heart and home since childhood

“i Saw a cow, and I drew a cow.”In those words, artist Peggy Judy succinct- ly sums up the earliest memory—from when she was about 2 years old—that foreshadowed her current career as a fine artist depicting the animals, people, and landscapes of the American West.

She was riding in the back seat of the family car on an outing not far from where they lived in a rural area near Morrison, CO, just west of Denver. Back home, young Peggy grabbed a sheet of pa- per and a brown crayon—“because it was a brown cow”—and produced what she describes today as “just a very simple line drawing, but you could see it was a cow.” Her parents framed the work and proudly displayed it on the living-room wall.

Jump forward some 57 years to today, and you’ll find Judy’s paintings hanging on the walls of galleries across Colora- do and in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Minnesota, and New York. They’ve also been featured and won prizes in leading western museums and shows. The works are impressive in their own right, and all the more so for the fact that she began actively pursuing her fine-arts career little more than five years ago. “It’s very storybook,” says Judy, now 59, of her suc- cess. “I pinch myself all the time.”

Starting with that first brown cow, art became an essential social skill for Judy. “I’m very shy,” she admits. “So I let my drawings do the talking for me, and that’s how I got through school and college.” If there was a group project in her grade-school classroom, she says, “everybody looked to me to design it. I might not have liked to talk, but I defi- nitely liked to run the show.”

During junior high, her teachers and counselors thought that drama class might help her break through her shy- ness. Of course, she became the set de- signer, adding that nonverbal achieve- ment to a long roster of others, including posters for school events and design work for the yearbook.

All through her education, she re- ceived loving support from her parents. In fact, her dad—himself the son of a professional lithographer and illustrator for the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver

Post—had been a talented artist himself, though he instead pursued engineering and worked for the U.S. Department of Energy at its Rocky Flats nuclear plant near Denver. Recalls Judy, “He always said to me, ‘Do what you want to do.’”

A key moment during high school came during her senior trip to New York City. “We visited all the museums, and it was just mind-boggling to get up close to paint- ings I had only seen in books. The Rem- brandts were absolutely phenomenal.”

As graduation approached, Judy says, she “never thought of doing anything else” but studying art in college. During the five-year Bachelor of Fine Arts pro- gram at Colorado State University, she listed her concentration as “illustration” whenever she could, even though the art department didn’t offer it at the time.

Her talent earned recognition early on. During her sophomore year, as seniors in her department were submitting their portfolios to Hallmark for coveted jobs illustrating greeting cards, one of her professors submitted Judy’s portfolio as well. She wound up being the only stu- dent invited to the company’s Kansas City headquarters for a round of inter- views, which culminated in a one-on- one meeting with chairman Don Hall. As Judy tells it, “He said to me, ‘Well, you have the job if you want it. But if you were my daughter, I would tell you to get your butt back in school.’ And so I did.”

But it was more than just Hall’s ad- monition that fueled Judy’s desire to complete her studies. “I loved art school. My professors were wonderful, and some of them are now my friends,” she says. She pauses, thinking back to her shyness. “I just wish I could have asked them more questions.”

Still, that reticence didn’t keep her from seeking and finding work when she graduated in 1982, even as a reces- sion was hitting the country. She began doing freelance illustration work, mostly for companies in downtown Denver; she drove into the city from her parents’ home, where she continued to live, stay- ing close to the family’s horses she had loved and ridden since childhood. In her spare time, she painted watercolor land- scapes, which she sold at weekend art fairs around greater Denver. “That was a really great experience for me,” she says,

not only for the painting practice and the extra income but also because, Judy adds with a laugh, “I did have to learn to speak to people.”

That skill may have come in handy during the autumn of 1987, when Lin Judy, a young equine veterinarian who’d recently graduated from Kansas State University, came out to the family’s house to perform an insurance examina- tion on one of the horses. Lin was shy, too, but he and Peggy struck up a con- versation. He proposed 11 days later, and they married two months after that, “as soon as the church had an open spot,” Judy says. Last January, the couple cel- ebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.

Judy dedicated herself to newlywed life, to helping grow and manage the in- dependent veterinary practice Lin soon launched, and then to raising their two children: son Ethan, now 26, a senior at Colorado School of Mines following a stint in the Marine Corps; and daugh- ter Josie, 23, who earned a degree at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business and now works in Denver at a company dedicated to helping entrepre- neurs succeed.

Once their daughter was off at college, says Judy, “I had a little bit of time, and I thought I would go to the art store, buy some paints, and dabble a bit.” She be- gan painting, “mostly horses, because I certainly knew them.” To her surprise, after all those years away from painting, she found creating art “addicting.” Soon she had assembled a body of works, “and Lin said, ‘You should go to a gallery.’” So she did some online research and settled on her first prospect, the well-respected Ann Korologos Gallery in Basalt, CO, near Aspen, which specializes in con- temporary western art and artists. She emailed them a few digital images and a few weeks later got a phone call inviting her to bring in some pieces.

“I made the five-and-a-half-hour drive from where we lived with 25 paintings,” Judy recalls. “They kept all 25. And on the way home, I got a call that they’d just sold two right off the floor!” More rec- ognition came quickly as well, includ- ing top awards from the Tesoro Cultural Center in Morrison and the Golden Fine Arts Festival in Golden, CO. In 2014, her paintings were included in museum

The Missing Button, oil, 28 x 22.

shows in Connecticut and New York. In 2015 alone, her works appeared in the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale in Denver, the Mountain Oyster Club Con- temporary Western Art Show and Sale in Tucson, the 8×8 Invitational Art Show and Sale in Dallas, and the Stampede Western Invitational Art Exhibit and Sale in Greeley, CO.

With every year, Judy’s range and self- assurance as a fine artist have contin- ued to grow. About two and a half years ago she branched out from her beloved horses and started incorporating other western subjects into her work as well,

in response to commission requests she received for paintings based on old fam- ily photos. “I took that as a challenge to step outside of my comfort zone, and I fell in love with painting people,” she says. Today, many of her works feature cowboys on horseback, from an action- filled depiction of a roundup to more peaceful scenes along the trail. Others occasionally focus on people alone. THE MISSING BUTTON, for example, is based on a vintage photo of a client’s grandpar- ents, capturing an intimate moment as a ranch wife performs a last-minute repair on her husband’s vest.

Whatever the subject, Judy begins each piece with some sort of photo reference—which she now captures on the ranches of Colorado’s western slope, where she and Lin moved in June into a new house on 40 acres (the land was part of the Mad Dog Ranch established by the late rock singer Joe Cocker and his wife). She snaps copious images, she says, but “I will usually know as I’m tak- ing a photo that it’s the one I’m going to paint. What strikes me the most is how the light hits, creating a series of shapes and silhouettes. I look for balance in the composition. I want my eye to immedi- ately rest and not flicker around.”

Next, she’ll usually sketch the image straight onto a primed canvas using a heavy ebony-lead pencil. “Then I start painting the things that are scariest to me, like the face. If I don’t have that nailed, I don’t go farther,” she says. After that, “the rest of the painting is cake. It’s a series of shapes. I start in one spot, fill in the shape, and it grows.” She finds her background as an illustrator carries into her work today. “I used to try to fight it, but now, what the heck,” she laughs. “I’m telling a story rather than just de- picting a scene. I like to take something I see and make it an intimate moment that carries a lot of significance.”

In fact, going forward, she plans to add an even stronger narrative element to her work. “I’ve been thinking I want to do some series of very large paintings that tell the story of people’s lives in four or five paintings,” she says. With goals like that, it seems clear that Judy has discovered her true calling as a western artist. Ultimately, she says, “I think I’ve found the subject I’m meant to paint.”