art up close | Laurel Magazine | Highlands NC – The Laurel Magazine of Highlands NC and Cashiers NC | Candle Made Easy

Written by: Donna Rhodes | Output: July – 2022

For Peggy Marra, nature and its inhabitants serve as an insatiable source of wonder and inspiration.


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Peggy Marra was often in her own world, sketching and drawing while saying, “I should be paying attention in class.” She started painting at 16, visited Europe at 18 and 19 to absorb the art world, and has been painting ever since Oil on canvas. Three years in Greece, where she met husband Mihalis, solidified her career as an artist. And for many years, until her husband died, they ran art galleries, first in a small community in Montreal, Canada, and additionally in the affluent Sherbrook Street neighborhood of Montreal and also in Boca Raton, Florida. The downside of managing art galleries was that she had limited time to paint. But when she sold the galleries after Mihalis died, she decided to devote at least three days a week to painting detailed, almost lifelike close-ups of wildlife in her Sapphire Valley home — which she’s owned for 19 years — in the West North Carolina or out west where she has taken part in photo field trips. Wildlife portraiture became her passion. And through her art, Marra strives to make people aware of the diverse and unique character of the animal she paints. In fact, the personalities and expressions of various animals and even birds are conveyed in vibrant, rich tones on large canvases. “I started out painting bears and then focused on wolves, bison, coyotes, mountain lions… I love getting up close with my art and showing the details of the face.” She also does commissioned work of pets and large animals like horses. Her work is exhibited at the Summer House Design Center near Highlands and the Turning Leaf Gallery in Blue Ridge, Georgia. However, she said, “A huge following of people who have my work and want more of my work just come into my studio to see what I’ve done and what I’m working on.” It’s total immersion in the work . It’s my passion. Nothing else happens except me and my canvas and my oils.” You can see Peggy’s work at the Art League of Highlands-Cashiers Summer Colors Fine Art Show—July 23-24 at the Sapphire Valley Community Center—or visit peggymarra.com .

by Deena Bouknight

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