Life’s reflections

Artist turns passion for equines to portraits in pencil and acrylic

  • Feb. 18, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Marlene Pegg translated her love of all things western into her artistic pursuits.

Marlene Pegg is a western artist who has lived the life of a horse trainer and ranch wife for the past 40 years. She doesn’t just love horses, she lives and breathes horses. In fact, someone who once had occasion to ride one of her horses commented that, “she walks in their minds.” Pegg has now turned her passion for horses to artistic expression in both acrylics and pencil drawings.

From a very tender age, Pegg would rush through her household chores and head outside to commune with the farm horses. Later in life, she helped raise her family with the money she earned from riding the rough stock.

Through those years she developed her horsemanship skills and started turning out all-around ranch horses. She often worked with horses in need of rehabilitation others had given up on. Her talent and horsemanship skills caught the attention of renown personality Hugh Mclennan who featured her as a talented horse trainer on the Spirit of the West radio program.

Years of hard work and bronc riding eventually ended her career as a trainer. She now puts pencil to paper and brush to canvas to capture the memory of a challenging and rewarding career and its equine and human characters she has loved so well. She works primarily in the medium of acrylics and pencils. Over the years she dabbled in oils, clay, and ceramic dishes, but has settled on acrylics and pencils as her preferred mediums of artistic expression.

Born into a family of talented musicians and artists, Pegg had a natural ability to draw as far back as she can recall. Drawing pictures of horses for school friends helped encourage her along, but it wasn’t until she started working with horses that she learned how to capture their unique personalities. She is a self-taught artist with no formal training in her craft.

While Pegg has typically most enjoyed capturing the spirit of the horse, she has also studied the life hidden between the lines of the weathered faces of the modest cowboys and cowgirls of the ranching industry. Her pencil renderings of local cowboys speak volumes about the life lived from the saddle and its school of hard knocks. Having lived as a cattle rancher’s wife herself for many years, she has acquired a diverse and in-depth understanding of its demands which she so capably communicates through her art.

Her overall goal in being an artist is to keep her connected in an intimate way with a meaningful life she has loved and enjoyed so much.

Pegg’s art has been featured at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival and will be there again this year, in the Williams Lake Art Walk at the 4Sure Bistro and at the Oasis Café in Mcleese Lake. It is also on display for the month of February at the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre, Art from the Heart Exhibition.

Depending on the size and complexity of the work she is doing she can complete a commissioned art work in a week to three weeks time, with portraits in pencils averaging about three days.

Prices of originals and prints vary so it is best to call her directly for a quote at her home number (250) 747-1959.

You can also go online to see more of her works at

– submitted by Angela Zieske

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