Auntie Peg

I never met Auntie Peg.

That’s a real pity, because I think we would have really gotten along well. She was my grandfather’s sister, so I guess that puts her into the realm of Great-Auntie Peg.
There are a lot of photos, and even some home movies of her from the 1920’s in the family collection. From what I could see she was a lot of fun.

She was also one of those lucky souls who inherited the art gene from her mother’s side.

I don’t know much about her life, other than the fact that she looked after her parents through their elder years. She never married, and she never had children.

There are two things I do know about her. One is that incredibly long, baggy shorts were called “Auntie Pegs” in my family. The other thing I know is that she was also an incredibly gifted artist.

She signed her work Margaret Kerr, and her most productive years were the 1940s. She worked almost exclusively in watercolor. I have found a few pen and ink drawings she did of flowers which she drew using an incredibly fine nib. Her lines look finer than human hair, and the finished art was about 2 inches square. It was amazingly fine pen work.

In contrast, her watercolors are pretty large, most 11×17 and larger. If there’s a theme that runs consistently through her watercolor work, it’s children and the beach, using a fairly muted color pallet. Her subjects were either her nephews, or neighborhood children from Montclair, New Jersey, Fall River, or Westport Harbor, Massachusetts.

You also won’t find any portrait work. Her children were not specific, or painted from the back. The faces could be that of any child, although I’m pretty sure one study is of my dad when he was about 10.

Since neither Dad nor Auntie Peg is around to quibble, you’ll just have to take my word for it.

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