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2016 Ashland Gallery

48 Ashland Gallery Guide Susan DeRosa “Something in your work has been the same since the beginning,” Susan told us while showing her works on the walls of her impeccably decorated home in Jacksonville. She has been drawing and painting since she was six. Born in Santa Monica, she spent most of her life in southern California, studied at Cal State Long Beach, majoring in art education and minoring in illustration. In the early eighties she worked for Fluor Daniel as a graphic designer and McDonnell Douglas as one of the only women technical illustrators in the mid 60’s. Later, at age 51, she received her BFA from Laguna College of Art and Design, and was offered an Assistant Dean position until she retired. There she was actively involved with the development and teaching of the High School Student Portfolio Program. As we spoke she expressed interest in the AGA Portfolio Day with Ashland High School. Susan and Bob knew each other in High School and were prom dates, mostly by virtue of their parents’ friendship. Their paths diverged until recently, reunited via social media. They moved to “ultra-charming” Eureka Springs, Arkansas to be near his grandkids, and married there. Thus began six moves in eight years. Susan was welcomed into Eureka Fine Art Gallery. There she showed Pegi was born in Vancouver B.C. to Austrian parents. Her first language was Austrian-dialect German. She was always artistically inclined. In first grade she wrote and illustrated a book for her mom, and learned violin. Her father was a painter of realism. When he showed only amusement at her first efforts in painting she went into clay instead, and music. She still plays electric violin at area wineries. Her father also had a dental technician business. He hoped she would take it over after him, having been trained by his partner. She made porcelain crowns and such, showing us the tiniest little ¾ inch elephant she made of dental porcelain for fun. She was still a teenager when her family moved to Colorado. Around 1988 she moved on her own to the Seattle area. In 1990 she built her first studio. Entering her house, you see high walls full of her paintings, rich color fields with intricate patterns and line. One room is her studio. There is no easel; she paints canvases on the floor with light from north windows giving views of open-grown oak slopes. She was working on a piece destined to hang at the Thai Pepper in Ashland. Her current style, evolved since April, 2006, uses over-painting of the background. Some with stark white are eye-catching. Pegi is fond of some non-figurative abstracts complete in themselves.They show how most of her paintings begin. She paints half-time since she got a job at Progressive Optometry last year. Painting can be a deep practice at times. She can lose time sense. The canvas floor tarp shows the energy of her paint strokes. Pegi has shown at Liquid Assets, Gallery Karon, Pangea, Ala Kaliki in Claycomb Mall, Love Revolution, Paschal Winery, Shepherd’s Dream, 38 Central in Medford, and South Stage Cellars. She’s working on finding a gallery with long-term representation. She loves commissions and has works in NY, NY, Switzerland, Australia, the S. Nevada Museum of Art, and throughout the U.S. See Pegi Smith’s listing on page 32


2016 Ashland Gallery
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