“Just looking at light and its effects on objects. That is what the Impressionism did, the Impressionists did, in finding ways to paint that.” – Joseph J. Rishel
For Art Sunday today, a contemporary USA neoimpressionist painter, Margaret McWethy. She is an artist with a lifelong interest in art and the natural world. She paints scenes full of light and life that surround her, following the rhythms of the seasons and the changes in nature over the passage of the year. Margaret studied art history and biology at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, United States.
Since she graduated she has sought master teachers who can pass on more of the magic and mystery of their art to her. Margaret’s technique has benefitted from sessions with master colourist, Henry Hensche and portrait artist Cedric Egeli. The skills and discipline needed to express Margaret’s view of nature have been honed by these associations. The pursuit of knowledge to enhance her “seeing” of the world has become an ongoing journey for Margaret.
Margaret’s background in the sciences tends to make her approach a blend of the analytical and intuitive. “I like the idea of reducing things to parts to see how they work, then reconstructing and editing. Not with the object of reducing things to formulas but to reach some real understanding with which one can then begin to create. I always like exploring the small landscape of the still life. I enjoy the intimacy of the relationships.”
Margaret, a native of Maryland, now lives and paints in Massachusetts. She teaches painting the Impressionist Still Life locally. She is a featured artist in the publications, Painting the Impressionist Landscape by Lois Griffel, Capturing Radiant Color in Oils by Susan Sarbeck, Painting the Impressionist Watercolor by Lee Boynton and is a charter member of the New England Plein Air Painters. Her work hangs in private collections in the United States and Europe.
The painting above, Peaches and Garlic highlights Margaret’s proficient use of colour, studied composition and good handling of light in a classic, formal still life. The forms are rendered competently and the patches of light and shadow, transparency and opacity, dullness and shininess are playfully counterpointed. This is an artwork that is accessible and easily appreciated by most people and one that most would like enough to hang on their wall in order to look upon it for a length of time. Although the style is derivative and not wildly original, the handling of the paint is done with consummate confidence and the artist’s manner is facile and full of joy.
More of her art can be found on her website: http://margaretmcwethy.com/