Manchester Arts Festival: Artist Profile

Artist Profile: Isabelle Peabody, ‘IZ’
Abstract Expressionist, Kindergarten Teacher and Manchester Resident

‘Abstract expressionism ‘ people try to make it more complicated than it is. Why do you need words to define that? It’s just beautiful. It’s luminous.’
-Isabelle Peabody

Isabelle Peabody established herself as a painter while studying art therapy at Endicott College under the tutelage of Ric Haynes ‘ who was the first person to buy her work. While she has never pursued art therapy professionally her process developed very naturally from the therapeutic model. Peabody’s paintings evolve from the subconscious and are very emotionally-charged. Her early work involves a technique she describes as ‘painting with my shoulder,’ using her entire arm, an extension of her heart, to create large strokes and lines. Line, texture, color and above all, movement are features of her work.

‘I never say, ‘I’m going to paint a tree,’ and then do it. A lot of times I paint on the floor because I’m not as judgmental.’ Peabody’s pieces reveal themselves in the act of painting, often after several passes over the same canvas. They are a sort of visual poetry where the viewer ‘reads’ their own meaning into the work. ‘You can see feeling in my work which is what drew me to art therapy. A lot of my paintings look dreamlike because they’re non-representational; they evoke memories and dreams. I find it liberating to just let go ‘ the painting reveals itself.’

Peabody spent her early childhood in Manchester and attended The Brookwood School. After graduating from Endicott College she moved to New York City where she painted at the Art Students League and exhibited and sold her early work. After stints in New York and Hawaii she returned to Brookwood as a kindergarten teacher and also to Manchester where she currently lives with her husband.

She has sold paintings in Boston to businesses such as the Copley Real Estate Group and has created commissioned, custom work for individuals to display in their homes. Peabody’s studio is on Main Street in Gloucester and in addition to her large pieces, she will have mini-abstract landscapes on hand at the festival in July.

To preview Isabelle Peabody’s work visit


Location: Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Date: Saturday, July 25, 2009 (Rain date Sunday, July 26, 2009)

Time: 9:00 am ‘ 5:00 pm

Admission: FREE

Description: The beautiful and quaint sidewalks of Manchester-by-the-Sea will be filled with artists and artisans displaying and selling their work. There will be children’s art classes organized by The Cape Ann Museum which include painting with watercolors in the Historic Trask House Gardens and sketching by the harbor. Live music and performances will be offered all day and will be located throughout the town. Transportation by train is recommended as parking is limited.



Phone: 978-283-1601