Margaret Zox Brown

Margaret Zox Brown from New York has been making art for 23 years and works in oils. Here is her website http://www.margaretzoxbrown.com and her blog http://margaretzoxbrown.com/blog/ you can also check out her work in this You Tube video.

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News Flash! Margaret won an emerging artists award in New York this Jan check out the details here…

Artist’s statement…

As I have evolved as an artist, I have gone through various transitions, building on what I have just learned and then working through my newfound curiosity. Currently, I am exploring the human form attempting to break it down to its more simple abstract self.

For the past several years, the 2 dimensional canvas has really been my muse with color being the true subject and my subject matter being the introductory form that leads the viewer through the journey of each painting. My paintings are neither representational nor abstract but somewhere in the middle. And, what I have ultimately created is quite simply the emotion behind whatever it is I am expressing.

Loose black and white sketches are the bases for all my paintings. I copy them onto each canvas that I have already given a wash of colors from my entire palette. With a thorough, thoughtful, daring and intense exploration of color, I work with my subject matter and deconstruct it and add to it over and over until the entire painting comes together as whatever it is I am feeling and then expressing. I choreograph a harmonious, graceful dance allowing the viewer to freely meander through each painting guided by all the elements; color, emotion, line and shape, paint application, light and depth, subject and mood.

My inspirations are many; the beauty I see in nature, the serenity I feel when observing a Still Life or the intrinsic nature of the human spirit. Whether my subject matter is lost in complex abstraction or broken down to its abstract simpler planes, the journey on each canvas allows me to express the essence of whatever it is, what it feels to me.

My goal with each painting is for it to be rich and thought provoking and emotionally stimulating. There should be moments of excitement, a rush as well as moments of calm and familiarity with a continual discovery of something new.

How do you describe your work?

Expressionist paintings that hover between Representational and Abstract with color as my true subject.

What are you currently working on?

A series of paintings of the Human Form. Currently, I am working on one smaller painting (30” x 24”) as well as one large painting (74” x 66”) which are modelled after drawings of my daughter who was just home for a month from college. I am so emotionally drawn to her, that expressing the emotion of a moment captured with her is exciting and satisfying for me.

What fascinates you?

Color first and foremost then anything that moves me; be it a line or a gesture or a mood or a shape.

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Now give us a more descriptive outline on your current works.

My current works are of a subject matter, the Human Form, I have painted at all different stages of my art career. I am now coming to them, though with so much knowledge and experience they truly express the essence of and the emotion behind each figure and the moment in time I have captured.

The journey on the canvas guided by color and paint application and medium with the awareness and understanding of different movements in Art History empowers each painting to be all that I am seeking.

Why are you an artist?

At this point in my life, it is all I can be. My life and my art are so intertwined that I express my life through my art and my life is lived in how I approach my art. As I grow, my paintings do and as my art evolves, my self is enriched.

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How did you get into art?

I always drew, my entire life. That was in me. And when I first discovered color, I felt as if I had put my key into a treasure box, just for me.

Your art education was…?

I have been taking an Advanced Oil Painting Class at the 92nd Street Y for the past 23 years and other than that, I am college educated and have travelled so I have a strong base of cultural influences.

Is there any one thing that has given you a big buzz in your art career so far?

I have had a wonderful teacher for the past 11 years, Brian Rutenberg, a successful contemporary artist who really brought me to the next level. Also, Robert Gamblin from Gamblin products introduced me to certain colors and mediums which set me on a totally new path of discovery in my art.

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Do you remember your first painting or artwork?

I remember my first Oil painting I did in my 20’s and I remember paintings I did when I was very young at home and was so proud of.

What or who inspires your art?

Different artists, like DeKooning for his painting energy, Picasso for his drawing and genius, Gaughin for his colors and Matisse for his presentation of the world on a flat picture plane…

Was there a big turning point in your art journey that caused you to think that “it’s all worthwhile”, or “oh yeah I get it…”?

When my life and art came together. When I started to abstract and take elements out of my paintings, I then realized I could live my life that way; I did not have to hold onto beliefs or ways of doing things. The whole picture became a way to view the world.

What caused you to choose the medium you currently work in?

I tried it and just loved it. I am very earthy, really so the dripping , messy, smelly experience excites me.

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You know you are successful in Visual Arts when…

Difficult question. I feel successful when I have wowed myself by what I have produced but also when I get confirmation by the outside world that what I have created is beautiful and thought provoking.

What can you tell us about your planning and making process for making art, and has that altered over the years?

I really concentrate on my drawings the most when starting a painting now. The beauty and perfection (as far as I am concerned) in the drawing, is the pivotal element of my paintings now where all other elements like color and paint stem from freely. Initially, my drawings were secondary.

Does the sale of your work support you? If no what else do you do to support your art (job)?

I also teach painting and drawing and will do commissions when they come up. I also am exploring other art related business ventures.

Do you have much contact with other artists?

Yes, I share my studio, I take a class and I have friends who are artists.

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Working towards an exhibition, is it a daunting task?

Yes but so stimulating. The pressure to get it all together and have a goal like that is wonderful.

Tell us about your connection to your subject matter, way of working, concepts etc?

Right now it’s people, but as I have said, there could be a line or a gesture or a shape or a mood that moves me. I see the world as an artist all the time. I am a very sensitive person so I am moved often although I never know in advance what it will be, which will move me to do a drawing and then do a painting from that drawing.

What has been a turning point in your career thus far and why?

When I discovered transparent colors, color became my pot of gold. And when I experimented with abstraction, my personal  life and how I approach the world changed in a great way forever.

If you could have any piece of artwork in your personal collection, what would it be and why?

A Picasso painting, pre cubism. His drawings and mind just wow me each time I see those.

Have you had any “big breaks” in your career?

I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the college I went to around my art and an exhibition of my art. And, my art has been put on banners around New York City representing the artistic area (district) where my studio is.

All artists seem to have struggles, tell us about any you have had.

I have been rejected many times from galleries when seeking representation. It always seems that is like Catch 22- you have to be known and showing to get known and showing.

Do you keep an Art Journal or Visual Diary of some kind?

Just my sketch books.

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What happens to works that “don’t work out”?

I just put them away. People often like them, though, so if they want to buy them that is fine even if I am not proud of the piece.

One thing you wish you had listened to from an art teacher or lecturer?

I wish I had gone to Art School and gotten a Masters in Fine Art when I was young. But actually no one encouraged me to do it. That is just my own personal regret.

Musical influences, Okay this is about Visual Arts but most artists have favourite music they enjoy while working or just in general what about you?

I love Bob Dylan, the Band, Neil Young… All folk rock and I listen to music all the time while painting. Silence makes me too aware of myself and what I am doing whereas the music becomes part of the whole process and brings me to that zone.

What sort of depth or meaning is there behind the work you do?

Sometimes the title of a painting reveals the significance of the journey I took while painting or the influence behind the painting or the ultimate satisfaction in the painting.

About significant moments in your life, the sort of things that changed things for you forever… perhaps altered your Art… Who how why what and where…?

Having children and wanting them to live life in ways I never did, with confidence and richness of spirit, to know and like who they are and to shoot for anything in life. As I said my life and my art became intertwined when I started to put abstract images in my art. I handle life like I handle a painting now and it feels great. I am living creatively rather than being a prisoner to other people’s conventions or dogmas. And I am happy.

What discourages you from doing art?

Real life pressures like money and discord that can crop up with other people.

The business or marketing side of Art can be a challenge to some, what are your thoughts?

At this point, I would really like to hand it over to galleryists to do it for me. I need more time in my studio creating the work so there is work to market!

Have you had much connection post sale with purchasers of your works?

Yes, many collectors are repeat buyers and I invite and include them specially to different events around my art and I have also developed genuine friendships with many of the collectors.

Name a book or books, which may have inspired your work as an artist?

The Biography of DeKooning.

If someone says to you “Oh your work is decorative and lacks any meaning…” your response would be…?

That’s your opinion (I would actually just tell myself this and not express it to them as there is no point in trying to change someone’s mind who is so off the mark).

What would you say are the top three things, which make you successful as an artist?

My colors, my sensitivity in my paintings and the general public’s reaction to my work. I would like to be selling more and in more galleries and in Museums to be as successful as I aspire to be.

Some say a measure of an artwork is the ability for it to hold a persons attention or cause the viewer to come back after an initial glance and become captivated by the work, is that so for your works or an intention of yours?

Definitely I want them to discover new things each time they look at one of my paintings

People around you (family friends etc.) what would they say about the way you work, the moods you have, your life as an artist etc?

My children and friends think my work is great. They are impressed with what I create. I have always been told I am very sensitive, perhaps “they” attribute that to me being an artist. People are only awed by how I work…

What or how do you respond to the term “Starving Artist”.

That is not a term which resonates with me at all. There are infinite possibilities to create wealth through creation of a new thing. Why not for an artist?

Do you prefer a perfect smooth technique or a more energetic expressive technique and why?

Not smooth. I am all about the paint and color and mess. It is visceral and expressive not controlled.

What do you love/hate about being an artist?

I love most of it, it consumes me in a great way that I bring to the rest of my life. There is almost nothing about it I don’t like. I do wish more people involved in the art world were as sensitive and people oriented as the artists creating the work. Pretense is an unfortunate by product of this business which is not appealing, not inclusive and not productive. Art and artists offer so much to the world.

How do you go about marketing your art?

My website, Open Studios, email announcements, art organizations, shows…

How long did it take to develop your own style?

Many years, 23 in all but with the strongest emphasis in the past 11 years.

How many artworks do you produce in a year?

20 or so.

How often do you work in the studio?

As often as possible but not every day as other life commitments are there, like my children and teaching…

How do you cope with any low points?

I turn them around to something positive. There is always another way.

How long do our works they usually take to complete?

Can be months but more often weeks.

What did your prices start off at?

The first painting I sold was for $1,000 and it was 24” x 30” Now that size sells for $3,000

Does some of your current work reflect your earlier works?

Always. You can certainly tell that my work is an evolvement from past work.

How did you manage to survive financially at the beginning of your art career?

It is always difficult but somehow it works out. If you believe in yourself then others do too. So you bring about the reality that you want. And, I want my artwork to be successful and to sustain my life.

Did you have any idea about how the art world worked in the beginning?

Not a clue.

Do you have ideas turning over in your head all the time or…

Yes for new work and ways to express myself and new ventures to move ahead in life and dreams for things I want to do in my life.

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Compiled and edited by Steve Gray © 2009+

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Comments

3 Responses to “Margaret Zox Brown”

  1. An Online Artist’s Interview on January 22nd, 2010 12:01 am

    [...] check out Art Re-Source’s online Artist’s  Interview with me  at http://stevegray.com.au/blog/margaret-zox-brown/ You can read and learn about the whys and hows and whens of all that I do! Share and Enjoy: These [...]

  2. Exhibition - Margaret Zox Brown : Art Re-Source on January 22nd, 2010 7:23 am

    [...] West 39th Street Studio 500 (Between 8th and 9th Ave’s) http://www.margaretzoxbrown.com http://stevegray.com.au/blog/margaret-zox-brown/ January 22, 2010 | Filed Under Around the Galleries, The Business of [...]

  3. Exhibition : Art Re-Source on May 24th, 2010 11:47 pm

    [...] An exhibition featuring one of our interviewees, Margaret Zox Brown. [...]

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