Margaret Fitzgerald’s interview with PIECE WITH ARTIST
Margaret Fitzgerald | Artist Diaries
I’m Margaret Fitzgerald, I was born in London, I live in New Mexico, USA. When I came to NM I felt a connection to the landscape. The unfinished raw qualities of the land and the urban scape was conducive to painting for me. I don’t have a painting motto, things are always in flux and I take my cue from that.
Tell us your story, how did you come to painting? I always loved art. Early on I had a sister, who was an amazing artist and she used to coach me. She would talk about modern art, abstract art and tell me that I was an artist. I think that made a big difference to me.
How would you define your current painting? My current work looks inward at what it is to be human in an age of environmental destruction and in a time where our lives are synonymous with technology.
Tell us about your style and technique. Any secret that can be told? My painting process is very physical, I rotate the canvases from the wall to the floor, walk, scrape, cover, print and write on the canvas. This process informs the work as much as the intentional decisions along the way. This tactile process connects my body with the natural processes of nature and the language of the built environment.
How do you usually start your paintings? With a sketch, a draft or is it just an improvisation? I begin a painting by walking on the canvas for a period of time to begin a dialogue with history, time and mark making as a language. As the painting progresses and imagery is smudged and blotted over traces are left behind and a relationship between the past and the immediacy of the present emerges.
What are your motivation forces? And the artists who have been and are an influence for you? I think, each time I make a series of paintings i want to challenge myself to explore ideas and be bold in some way. I think also there is this idea that painting can somehow make a difference, there’s a continuum of urgency and hope infused in the work. I’ve had so many influences over the years. When I began art school De Kooning was my favorite painter. All the artists I have loved over the years are bound up in my work. Now I spend time looking at contemporary abstract expressionist and urban street art.
What is art for you? It’s hard to say what art is to me because it is so intertwined with who I am. But I would say that I’m compelled to paint to put down ideas and experiment and say something.
Three Abstract Artists is on view March 18 – April 29, 2021.
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