Born: Napanee, Ontario, 1898
Died: Toronto, Ontario, 1994
Kathleen Frances Daly was born in Napanee, Ontario, on May 28, 1898. She came from a prosperous family. Her parents were Denis Daly and Mary (Bennett) Daly. She attended Havergal College, Toronto in 1920. She studied at the Ontario College of Art from 1920-24, where her instructors included John William Beatty, George Agnew Reid, Arthur Lismer, and J.E.H. MacDonald. She went the the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris from 1924-25, and took private lessons in wood engraving from Rene Pottier in Paris and studied at the Parsons School of Design, New York in 1926. Between 1924 and 1930 she made a sketching trip to Europe each year, She visited the Basque Country, Italy and France.
Kathleen Daly met George Pepper while they were both studying at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris. They married in 1929. At first they were based in Ottawa. The Peppers travelled to the north shore of Lake Superior, then to Charlevoix County in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec in 1930. In 1931 they visited Nova Scotia and the Gaspe and in 1932 returned to Quebec. In 1932 George Pepper was made a member of the staff of the Ontario College of Art, and the Peppers moved to Toronto. In 1933 they built a log studio in Charlevoix County, where Kathleen Daly painted French-Canadian genre scenes and landscapes. Their cabin was in the village of Saint Urbain, where they were great friends with Alphonse and Madame l'Abbe, an extremely outgoing and hospitable family. Other artists would come to stay at the l'Abbe farmhouse.
The Peppers lived and worked at the Studio Building in Toronto from 1934 to 1951. They continued to travel widely in Canada, visiting the east and west coast and going as far as Ellesmere Island. Kathleen painting portraits of Montagnais Indians of the Lac St. Jean district in 1936. In 1938-39 she painted the Quebec landscape and the habitants. In 1952 Daly visited Mexico, and later traveled in Spain and Morocco. In 1954 the Peppers spent ten days on a trawler on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, sketching the fishermen. In 1960 they traveled on the Canadian government steamer C.D. Howe to the Eastern Arctic on the three-month voyage. They drew and painted the Inuit and ice formations, and prepared reports on Inuit art to the Department of Northern Affairs. In 1961 they spent seven weeks in an Inuit home, and depicted the Inuit of Puvirnituq and the District of Ungava. Her images from this period appeared in the government's North magazine.
After George's death in 1962, Kathleen continued to travel and paint in Quebec and other regions. Kathleen died in Toronto on August 21, 1994, aged 96.