Peggy Smith lives and paints in a remodeled cottage in Saint John. The rooms once occupied by her four children are now transformed into studios filled with paintings. Her seven gardens beside the Bay of Fundy serve as inspiration for the flower and landscape paintings. The Saint John String Quartet and Symphony New Brunswick rehearsals and concerts were her sources for her drawings and paintings of musicians.
In fact, many of these musicians have posed for portraits: this is in addition to commissioned portraits and studies that span almost sixty years.
Born Margaret Jean Ellis in Prince Edward Island, Canada, in 1935, Peggy studied fine art at Mount Allison University under Alex Colville, Lawren Harris and Ted Pulford, majoring in portrait and landscape painting. She later took Child Study at the University of Toronto. She was a founding member of the Society of Co-operating artists in Toronto in the 1950's.
She married in Toronto and had two children there before going to the United Kingdom for five years where two more children were born. She returned to Canada with her children to work at the new Confederation Center which her mother initiated in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. In 1965, she moved to Saint John, New Brunswick, to take a teaching job. She was also involved in day care, heritage of the old city, volunteering at the Seafarer's Mission and currently assists at a local food bank. In 1978 she became a born-again Christian and remains actively involved in church work.
She has travelled to Egypt, Israel, Cuba, Belgium and China as well as to other parts of Canada where she has had many opportunities to paint.
She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions since 1975. Peggy's work is included in the collection of the Canada Council Art Bank, the Charlottetown Confederation Centre, the New Brunswick Museum, the NB Art Bank, Mount Allison University, UNB, UPEI, the Imperial Theatre and many important corporate and private collections.