Near Shore, an Artist’s Life in Frankfort

Near Shore, an Artist’s Life in Frankfort

Peggy Hawley captures “Up North” magic on canvas

From the urban streets of Washington, D.C. to the shady maple-lined neighborhoods of Frankfort and from upscale art galleries to Victorian side porches, painter Peggy Hawley inhabits a rich and varied world.

Elegant, light-filled paintings of northern beauty emerge from her small jewel box of a studio. ‘Marinescapes’ of colorful sailboats, dinghies and rowboats rocking gently near shore, or beached in dune grass, transport the viewer into a state of watery bliss.

Sun-dappled cottages, joyous summer gardens and lovingly inhabited interiors offer a glimpse of intriguing personal spaces. Distant views of the mysterious Manitous and Michigan’s ever-changing coastline evoke dreams of sailing over the wind-whipped waves of our capricious inland sea.

Peggy Hawley captures the colors and shapes of the familiar on canvas; transmuting everyday sights into paintings brimming with seasonal light and beauty. Her upcoming exhibition “Art on the Porch: Coastal Views” offers viewers the opportunity to meet the artist and view twenty-eight of her most recent works in an unusual and very personal setting: her own front porch and artist’s studio.

Hosted by the artist and her husband Jon, “Art on the Porch” will be the painter’s version of a musician’s house concert, a chance for viewer and artist to interact outside the confines of a traditional gallery venue.

Hawley has been painting and teaching art since the late 1970s. Her most recent class, “Frankfort Scenes in Oil Paint”, introduced a dozen students to the pleasures of ‘plein aire’ painting along Frankfort’s streets and alleys. Equipped with easels, brushes, palettes, canvasses and sunscreen, Hawley’s students turned city lawns and alleyways into their own outdoor studio spaces, painting for several days completely outside. Hawley strolled among the artists as they worked, offering encouragement and instruction.

Professionally trained, with a master of fine arts degree in painting from The American University in Washington, D.C., Hawley’s work is in private and corporate collections including the U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies program, Citigroup and the National Institutes of Health. Locally, her work may be seen at Vigland Gallery, Benzonia, Bella Galleria on Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City and River Street Studio in Manistee. She currently resides in Frankfort and is active in the city’s ongoing efforts to plant and protect its treasured shade trees.

She may be contacted at 231 352-6197, or at

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Ellen MacDonald

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