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Q & A With Contemporary Western Artist Peggy Judy

Peggy Judy has been recognized not only across the nation but also in Europe. She takes on the traditional and well-honored Western subject matter with a different perspective and expressive interpretation.

Peggy was born and raised in Colorado and attended Colorado State University receiving a BFA in Illustration. She married an equine veterinarian, raised two children, and had a career in breeding, raising, and training horses for thirty years. All of that left little time to pursue a career in art until the last five years or so. Now, she is represented by top art galleries with an emphasis on contemporary Western art around the country.

Moving Through Tall Grass by Peggy Judy

What sets Peggy apart is that she uses a more graphic approach to composition and design that comes from her illustration background. She tries to describe the intensity of the West as it was lived in the past and still is today by a select few weathered souls, in addition to portraying the animals that still grace our Western states and those who care for them. Her work resides here in the USA as well as in the UK and Europe. She has been honored with acceptance into Major Western Art Shows and museums around the Western United States.

Krysta: Has your style always been contemporary Western art?

Peggy: No, not at all. Horses were always a strong part of my work but I never really thought of telling a story until my husband and I sold the farm on the Front Range of Colorado and made the move to rural Southwest Colorado. It has been the most wonderful journey! We were lucky enough to buy a portion of The Mad Dog Ranch originally owned by Joe Cocker in Crawford, CO. It is one of the most picturesque places you have ever seen! It is a ranching community that has been very welcoming to me photographing their branding and other events for reference material for my paintings.

Looking Back by Peggy Judy

Krysta: Your work paints the picture of the true old west, in a new and modern way. How does it feel to be able to accurately create and capture that picture on canvas?

Peggy: It is a wonderful feeling, especially because I know the people I’m portraying personally. I know what their work means to them. How the families go back many generations. How they have worked through good times and bad times. Sacrificed and celebrated.

Krysta: What does your creative process look like from start to finish after you’ve decided on what you will be painting?

Peggy: As I photograph, for instance, a branding on a chilly spring morning, I will see an image and know at that moment that it is “the one”! The light, the subject, and the story are all there. I don’t have to do anything but get it on the canvas.

Fields of Gold by Peggy Judy

Krysta: How long does each painting typically take from start to finish?

Peggy: Since my studio is in my home I pretty much live in it. When I am excited about a certain painting coming to fruition I have a hard time stopping and walking away. I would say on average a painting will take me eight to ten hours. The medium (oils, in my case) is really the only thing that can hold me back. It has its limitations and doesn’t want to be rushed sometimes. It is a fantastic feeling when painting something you love.

On Point bu Peggy Judy

Krysta: Personally, when perusing your works, I am overcome with a sense of nostalgia. Along with that feeling, how do you hope people come away feeling after viewing your art?

Peggy: It would make me very happy if they felt drawn into the feeling of the painting. Seeing a story but realizing that this is real life. An important, but often overlooked life. A life worth recognition. I hope to bring them that.

Krysta: Each artist develops their own style, but is there an artist that you look up to or have a similar style to that you admire?

Peggy: I have always been drawn to illustrators. N.C. Wyeth, Frank Frazetta, and of course Maynard Dixon.

Peggy’s Closing Thoughts

I am just thrilled to be doing what I do. If it brings happiness to those that see it and bring it into their own life, well it just doesn’t get better than that!

You can learn more about Peggy and her available pieces at or catch her on Instagram at @PeggyJudyFineArt.

CLN Community & Event Sponsor

Hi everyone! I'm Krysta Paffrath, I am a proud Arizona native who has a passion for everything business and rodeo. I am beyond thrilled to be the Editor in Chief for Cowboy Lifestyle Network. With my background in digital marketing and rodeo, this was a natural fit for me to join the team. My adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit has guided me to work in many places like the WYO Quarter Horse Ranch in Thermopolis, Wyoming, a working cattle ranch in Seligman, Arizona, and many places in between. I am passionate about preserving the western way of life and working with different brands and rodeos to make that happen. If you're looking for a write-up, please shoot me an email at Learn more about me at Looking forward to hearing from you!

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