Coming from three generations of accomplished artists, Peggy McGivern grew up knowing what her path in life would be. Returning to the United States from England, where she started her artistic career, McGivern settled her young family in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The artist quickly immersed herself in the community there.
She was a founding member of the Tulsa Artists Coalition and one of several talented artists who opened the Tulsa Center for Contemporary Art, which showcased avant-guard visual artists, musicians, actors, and sculptors. McGivern was also a successful gallerist, operating an award-winning exhibition space, the Genre Artisans Center, for a decade.
During this period, she also worked on her own career, landing spots in premier galleries across the Southwest. However, McGivern increasingly found that promoting the art of others left her with little time for herself. It was a hard decision to step back from her gallery so she could focus on her own painting, but a necessary one. Today McGivern lives and works in Taos, New Mexico, where she has continued to receive accolades for her painting. For example, in 2021 the artist was honored with a retrospective of her work at the Fechin House in Taos.
McGivern tends to work in series and is drawn to a color palette reminiscent of the 40's: rich, toned colors of burnt orange, rusty red, subtle brass, lime green, warm plum, and soft charcoal. She has moved between different levels of abstraction throughout her career, but generally focuses on people and places she has seen. In her words, "There always has to be a glimmer of truth in my work." McGivern commonly pulls from memory, especially from her travels.