Meet Margie Stewart (below) and James Williams (above), two of the four artists featured in our current exhibition: It's All About the Hue. We wanted to get to know them a little better, so here is a little window into their artistic journeys and perspectives.
Is there a difference between expected and desired reactions from the viewer (that you've noticed)?
James: What’s I find rewarding is that after interacting with people regarding my art, I too start to experience it in new ways. That’s part of the process, part of the exploration. For example, like the painting of Navy Pier where there is a Ferris wheel. When someone points out a boat they see, then maybe a boat was always there. I just didn’t recognize it until it was pointed out.
Margie: I hope that the viewer receives something of the awe of color, shape, mark making, etc. and absolute love of my paints and work when viewing my work. I am concerned about how the essence of my experience is a kind of "universal" response, but, to tell the truth, I'm not really thinking about the viewer's reaction at all when I paint.
James Williams, Untitled, 2015, mixed media, 24x24inch
Margie Stewart, Autumn White Bowl, 2015, oil on linen , 24x24 inch
What never fails to inspire you? Where or when do you most often feel the creative spark?
James: Whenever I’m experiencing a creative block, I usually lace up my hiking books. There’s something restorative to the creative mind when you get outside and realize that the world is bigger than you. It inspires me to paint and leave my mark.
Margie: There's a great quotation from Joseph Campbell, " Sacred space and sacred time and something joyous to do is all we need. Almost anything then becomes a continuous and increasing joy." I love that.
How did you become an artist?
James: I’ve always enjoyed drawing. I was fortunate enough to have people in my life from an early age – my mom and teachers – who encouraged me to explore the interest I had.
Margie: I've always loved reading, writing, music, and drama as well as drawing and painting. There was a point, however, where I made a decision that this is what I would "do" and that my love of painting was the strongest love. My father painted and my aunts were/are quite artistic. My grandmother and great-aunt were musicians. My mother and others in my family loved/love reading. They were all early models for me.
James Williams, This Side of the Mountain, 2015, mixed media, 48x48 inches
What's integral to your work, both as a subject and a method?
James: Exploring landscapes and location through color is at the core of my work..
Margie: Observing the domestic and the natural world in natural light as much as possible, taking what I see into painting, distilling what I'm experiencing into its essence. I am inspired by simple, yet beautiful objects that transcend their pure function...It's about the awe of the world.
James Williams, Untitled, 2015, mixed media, 24x24 inches
James- the opening for It's All About the Hue at GreenHill was on your birthday! What was it like to go to a showing of your work on that day?
James: My studio is in my basement. Time after time, I've learned that my art looks different in my studio than in a gallery. Although I spend time imagining how it will look, it's always such a nice surprise to see it hanging. GreenHill is such a great space--it was a real birthday treat to see my art hanging in that space alongside three accomplished artists.
Come see more works from these talented artists in person at GreenHill's It's All About the Hue exhibition