Tag Archives: Margaret Withers

Margaret Withers on making art a priority and how to find inspiration

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Artist Margaret Withers is recognized for her works on paper which are a mix of narrative, abstract and modern surrealism. Her paintings explore conflicting ideas of joy and melancholy, as well as community and aloneness.

She’s exhibited her work in group and solo shows in the United States, and internationally in Brussels, Australia, Berlin, China, Vienna, and Russia. She lives and paints in Manhattan, New York.
“If you slow down how you see things to where you’re almost in a meditative state, then you can find inspiration in anything. You can look at things differently as if you’re seeing them for the first time. There’s inspiration in that slowed-down space.”

Joyce Brown: In 2011 you changed your life so that art would be your primary focus; what were you doing before and what change did you make?

Margaret Withers: When I lived in Denver, I worked for the defense contractor, Boeing. I was doing computer programming related to configuration management. I eventually moved to New York to work for SAIC doing the same type of work. Part of my decision to move to New York was because of my art. I wanted to try to get to another level, and I figured New York was the best place for that to happen. At the same time, I had this idea, this dream, that I would just get discovered. I used to imagine that someone would just wander into my studio and fall in love with my art, and that’s all I needed to do. Of course, that didn’t happen. I call it the Peggy Guggenheim syndrome. Continue reading Margaret Withers on making art a priority and how to find inspiration

Interview MARGARET WITHERS by Art For All People

electric current::ampere

Margaret Withers is a warm, friendly and clearly gifted artist who I met on social media.  Her work really has a fluid, organic quality that I love.  We talked about Margaret’s work, life and what she thinks it’ll take to get more people inspired by contemporary art.

MICHAEL: Hi Margaret, It looks like you’ve conquered numerous genres with your work. However, I think I see a common thread. Is it a fascination with the organic or perhaps organisms? I’m sensing a “living fluidity” in your work. I don’t know. How do you see it?

MARGARET: Hi Michael, thank you for saying that, but I feel more like an explorer than a conqueror. I’m not fascinated with organic shapes or forms by themselves. I’ve tried to paint straight up abstract, but somehow the painting just feels incomplete to me. I’m not sure if this feeling of incompleteness stems from a lack of belief that the painting can stand on its own and that it’s interesting (to me) or if it’s from my own need to create a story and puzzle out of my cast of characters. 

Even my earlier work, that at first glance, looks like only organic shapes, in reality isn’t. In those paintings, I made clay heads, cast them in bronze, set them in boxes and then pushed those boxes into the canvas. Or I just attached the clay heads directly to the canvas. The clay heads evolved into an oddly looking ‘chicken guy’, who then morphed into my 135 ‘guy’, which then evolved into a mouth with eyes, and now with my new time::second series (on canvas), he’s in the house or completely absent; on my works on paper he still around. It’s an odd evolution of a character that I still haven’t figured out. But this character is only half of the story because I also greatly enjoy playing with the physics of paint and the principles of color and texture. The color and texture can certainly be seen as a ‘living fluidity’ and in that regard, I do try to capture an internal earth or space.

Continue reading Interview MARGARET WITHERS by Art For All People