THE BLUE SERIES
The color BLUE has a rich associative meaning. As an expressive agent, it connotes concepts of despondency and melancholy. Simultaneously, blue suggests notions of success, achievement, attainment (“blue ribbon”) or altruism, selflessness, and stalwartness (“true blue”).
Historically, blue pigment was highly sought after. Ultramarine, the most coveted pigment for Italian Renaissance artists, came from Afghanistan and consisted of crushed lapis lazuli stone. As azzuro oltramarino—the blue that came from “beyond the sea”—it was as valuable as gold. Only the most proficient chemists were capable of processing this expensive stone. The laborious procedure incorporated ground lapis with waxes, resins, oil, and finally, lye, to produce the luscious shades of blue seen on numerous frescoed walls throughout Italy. Blue signified the heavens, heavenly love, truth, constancy and fidelity. It was the color of certainty because blue always appears in the sky after the clouds are dispelled, suggesting the unveiling of truth.
“While in the midst of the BLUE series, an epiphanic moment occurred when I stumbled across a passage about pearls. According to Pliny, the 1st c Roman historian, pearls in antiquity were called margarites. The most highly-prized pearls were found in mollusks with blue interiors. While I was already developing a deep affection for the color, I fell in love with the concept that the origin of my name was mantled in it as well.”
For Margaret, this chromatic scheme has a very visceral physicality that exists as sensations and feelings. Each shade carries nuances that become more complex when interwoven with one another. The past years for her were incredibly challenging and included a number of physical relocations, the dissolution of relationships and the death of several beloved friends. BLUE is an attempt to reconcile disconsolation and affirmation.
Margaret is drawn to the rectilinear form and they predominate in her work. Squares and rectangles ground the painting compositionally and create a framework around which all other elements depend. These forms provide something of a foil for the more exuberant passages seen in her canvases. “I love the sheer mental grind of painting. I love the physical act. There is always the battle between containment and chaos in my work. My paintings make me feel simultaneously satisfied, restless, awkward and honest.”
Margaret holds a B.A. in art history from the University of Arizona, where she specialized in the Italian Renaissance. She participated in two archaeological excavations in Umbria, Italy, and later taught European art history at Northern Arizona University. She also worked at contemporary art galleries in Santa Fe, NM.
While dividing her time between Telluride, CO and San Francisco, CA, Margaret volunteered at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and wrote about numerous African objects from the collection in Highlights from a Decade of Collecting (2009). Additionally, she assisted with docent education, research on acquisitions and composed labels for objects on display in the African gallery. In 2012 she authored an article for Tribal Art magazine entitled “Seeing the Unseen: Visionary Aspects of Eskimo Snow Goggles”.
In 2015, Margaret participated in Ah Haa School for the Arts, Second Annual Juried Exhibition of Regional Artists, BEST OF 2014 and contributed to The Telluride Painting School lecture series with a talk entitled, Art of the ‘So What?!’: The History of Still Life Painting. In 2016 she was one of three juror for the 3rd Annual Exhibition of Regional Artists.
She resides in Telluride Colorado. Her work hangs in numerous private collection throughout the US.