Pegi Nicol Macleod

Canada / 1904 - 1949 / wikipedia
Pegi Nicol MacLeod, (17 January 1904–12 February 1949), was a Canadian painter whose modernist self-portraits, figure studies, paintings of children, still-lifes and landscapes are characterized by a fluidity of form and vibrant colour. Born Margaret Kathleen Nichol, she was a teacher, war artist and arts activist. In 1936 she became a member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour and one year later she joined the Canadian Group of Painters.

She was born in Listowel, Ontario to William Wallace Nichol and Myrtle Ivy Riggs. Pegi was their only child. The family moved to Ottawa in 1908 when Pegi was four where her father became principal of the Ottawa Technical School. The family lived on Frank Street and Pegi attended elementary at Cartier Street School. In 1914, when war broke out, the family moved to Toronto and Pegi attended Harbord Collegiate Institute. The Nichols returned to Ottawa after the war where Pegi finished her early education at the Ottawa Collegiate Institute.

In 1921 MacLeod enrolled at the newly re-established Art Association of Ottawa school. She studied art under Franklin Brownell from 1922 to 1923. In 1923 she moved to Montreal to study at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal. There was an emphasis on figure study and life drawing at the school. The art critic Donald Buchanan attributed her and many of her classmates' interest in the figure and portraiture to their training at the École. She was at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal with Paul-Émile Borduas, Lillian Freiman, Goodridge Roberts, Anne Savage, and Marian Scott, who would all go on to become established artists in their own right. In 1932 she won the Willingdon Arts Competition prize for painting.

She lived in Toronto from 1934 to 1937 and became good friends with Eric Brown, the first Director of the National Gallery of Canada. She began a five-year relationship with Richard Finnie by 1925. She married Norman MacLeod...
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Suzan Hamer


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