‘Larger than life’ Local artist proves growth comes by working on your passion Story by Brittany Fuller Submitted photos
Local artist Casey Peel has been in love with art so long she can’t remember when her fascination began.
Although not always a painter, Peel’s allure with art started with her attraction to the human form, and she one day hopes to travel, painting murals on the side of buildings.
“From the start, my dad opened up this infinite world of art for my brother and I,” Peel said. “An artist himself, he was always passionate about the old masters like Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and so on. So, at a very young age, I was exposed to a very powerful artistic fervent that has clearly left its mark on me.”
Peel said she would never forget how her father once showed her a picture of the Pieta for the first time and began explaining the skill of its artist. The experience, she said, left her feeling very emotional.
“It’s still my favorite piece of art,” Peel said. “The fact that such realism and intangible feeling could be manifested through marble or whatever medium the artist chose completely blew me away.”
Peel has been drawing with charcoal and graphite since she can remember, although always found she was intimidated to work with paint. Feeling paint was more permanent, she one day decided to take a chance with some watercolor materials she had lying around.
“I was obsessed with how pigmented the colors were and how I had to find a balance between letting the paint do what it wanted, but also rendering the composition to my satisfaction,” Peel said. “I wanted to translate that to canvas though, not just watercolor paper.”
After giving birth to her first child, a daughter named Kai, Peel received a gift of an easel, canvases, professional acrylic paint and paint brushes from her boyfriend who encouraged her to push herself past her insecurities and paint.
“I did,” Peel said. “Those small canvases he got me turned into a large-scale canvas and now I want to move onto painting murals on the side of buildings.”
Peel said she paints by completely losing herself in a different world. Time is non-existent, and she is lost in bliss.
“That’s all I daydream about all day long every day,” Peel said. “I am perpetually anticipating having that brush in my hand. It’s extremely motivating to know that growth is inevitable when you’re constantly working on your passion. I would describe my art as a place where spontaneity and synchronicity meet. A balance between chaos and realism. It’s colorful, loud and larger than life.”
Dividing her time between a full-time job and two small children, Peel said it typically takes her about two weeks to finish a painting. Signing each piece of art with the name “Pooch,” Peel said it just felt right as it was a nickname her Papaw gave her many years ago.
“My dream is to travel all around the world, to meet and interact with humans that are vastly different from myself and to paint those experiences in murals,” Peel said. “Diversity is so important to me. It breeds understanding and opens up space for us to love and respect one another regardless of our differences. There was a time when I never thought that I could sell my art or make a living from it. And now, with every ounce of my faith in God and the passions and artistic gifts that I have been blessed with, nothing stands between myself and my dreams.”
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