Margaret Connery-Boyd combines two great passions in her life – oil painting and the healing art of Reiki – and reflects them in her work.
“These two passions are combining right now,” said Connery-Boyd, who is showing some of her giclee and original artworks at Inner Vision Yoga Studio, 4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Ahwtaukee.
Other of the Ahwatukee artist’s framed and unframed prints are exhibited at the IVY studios in Chandler and Tempe. All will remain through Jan. 2.
“I am trying to spread light, be uplifting and share my joy and healing energy with others,” said Connery-Boyd. “I think my work reflects where I am in my life right nos.”
Painting has been a life-long love of Connery-Boyd, who began painting as a child using watercolors. She was the youngest of six siblings and grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts.
“We weren’t well off growing up. My father was a teacher, so I knew I had to get a practical job, so I studied to be a computer programmer,” she explained. “I was involved in computer programming and project management for 15 years.”
“I refound art after a personal health crisis, and I had the blessing of studying with an amazing artist, Christopher Zhang. I studied with him for about 10 years,” she added.
With her degree from College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, Connery-Boyd – who prefers to be called Peg and signs her art with “P” – she pursued her art at the New London Art Students League and the Lyme Artist Association in Connecticut.
During this period, she established oil painting as her main medium, rediscovering her talent in painting portraits and landscapes.
“I’ve always done people and landscapes, even as a child. I still can’t get enough of it – landscapes especially,” she said. “I love mountains. And I get up to Sedona as much as I can as I feel really connected to God there.”
There are several Sedona paintings in her oeuvre, including “Cool Colors in Sedona” and Sunset Glow,” both with prints available on her new website, ConneryBoydGallery.com.
Some of Connery-Boyd’s best selling art pieces are of sunsets – “End of a Wonderful Day” and “Awakening” are two of her more popular pieces, both sold as giclees.
Her website has a large assortment of categories including portraits, colorful and contemporary, walking in the desert, sunsets and seascapes and restorative series.
“I feel the energy of the subject I’m painting and convey it from my brushes to the canvas,” she said. “In some ways, I feel I am the interpreter.”
She said though she was trained in realism, of late her paintings show evidence of “exploring the space between the realistic and the abstract.”
“What is reality anyway when the light changes every second?” she mused.
It’s the energy that fills her art and her Reiki practice helped her accept an invitation to show her prints at Inner Vision Yoga studios.
“I feel my work is in synch with some of the same goals as Inner Vision Yoga: to create a sense of peace and spaciousness and to uplift,” she said. “I spend a lot of time in meditation and prayer and my intention is to share the divine connection through my painting.”
Connery-Boyd explained how being a Reiki master has affected her art as well.
“When I’m sending Reiki to a person, I sort of turn on a faucet and a current of energy flows through me to an individual. It is the same kind of peaceful and joyful energy I often feel when I am meditating or when I am surrounded by stillness in nature,” she said.
“When I’m painting, I purposefully set an intention to do the same thing - to share the same healing light, joy and grace with those may may experience the piece. I also add a Reiki blessing to each piece, so all of my artwork comes with a little gift of healing light.”
Her revival of painting as a life course has expanded her outlook, including intermingling with artists of all ages.
“I just feel so lucky to be doing this at my age, in my late fifties, to have something that I love waking up for every day. Especially as other aspects of my life slow down a bit with children growing up and moving in all directions, and my body showing its wear and tear,” she said.
“I feel very blessed to have this gift of painting which still energizes me and makes me feel like a kid sometimes. I also love how artwork can cross the generational gaps; I enjoy meeting young artists still in school, as well as friends into their eighties in the art groups that I belong to.
“Art is such a wonderful thing that brings people together. All different kinds of people can appreciate a beautiful sunset on a canvas.”