Impressionist painter and print designer, Margaret Jeane, wholeheartedly embraces the organic beauty of nature with her art. She is known for fleshing out colourful landscapes that are peppered in shades of violet and earthy tones.
Margaret’s warm palette is engaging and invites you to dive right into the canvas or fabrics, as on this occasion for her collection for Nerida Hansen Fabrics. From her recent conversation with our blog editor, Jacqui Taylor, she lets us in on how she juggles motherhood and her craft, being inspired by the world around her and fantasising about her own clothing line.
Hello Margaret, lovely to chat via email. Hopefully one day we’ll meet in person. Let’s start with yourself, where did you grow up and where do you call home now?
I spent most of my childhood in Michigan, and adolescence in New Jersey, but weirdly consider Ohio home. My husband and our two daughters now live in Chattanooga, TN, which has become our home for the foreseeable future.
Could you talk me through your creative process? What is in your toolbox?
I let colour drive my creative process; typically, I’m inspired by nature and a palette that feels moving. When creating a collection of work, I identify the mood or energy of the body of work I want to create, and then let colour drive the composition.
My style is very loose and free flowing, often joyful in energy. It definitely has an impressionist vibe. I love to paint landscapes, as I lose myself quickly in the beauty of nature. I also love to communicate the subject as it moves me, hoping I can pass that same emotion to the viewer.
What has changed for you due to a global pandemic? How have you adapted your work to manage during this time?
For a period of time in the beginning of the pandemic, we no longer had childcare which had a huge impact on the time I was able to devote to my work. I’m fortunate that I can work from home and have a studio, so besides time management, my transition was rather seamless.
When and how did you meet Nerida Hansen?
Nerida Hansen kindly reached out to me after having seen some of my work on Instagram. Since, we’ve corresponded via email to put together the collection.
Tell me about your upcoming collection for Nerida Hansen Fabrics. What were your inspirations for this body of work?
The upcoming collection features a warm, natural, yet energetic palette. Most of the inspiration is rooted in organic themes, with florals, abstract landscapes, and the human element, inspired by the beauty of a diverse culture.
How do you feel about the possibility of seeing your art transformed into a skirt, pants, tea towel or cushion?
One of my favourite parts of being an artist is being inspired by the creativity of everyone else. I can’t wait to see how this collection inspires other people to create!
Talk me through your typical day.
I wish I could. I can’t wait for the day when I can have an established routine, but right now I am at the mercy of the ever-changing schedules of two small children. I try very hard to balance motherhood and work. On days where I have more time to devote to art, I start the day by usually addressing the more administrative items. After knocking those out, I try to spend the remainder of the time working creatively.
Who has inspired you the most to date and why? Whose careers do you follow?
There are so many brilliantly talented artists it’s so hard to identify a single person. I’ve struggled a bit with the diversity of work I focus on, and for that reason I’ve been very inspired by Carolyn Gavin. She seamlessly transitions from surface design to fine art. I love how her voice is so clear in all mediums. Her career has given me the inspiration and strength to pursue both.
I never thought I’d be fortunate enough to collaborate with some of the companies I’ve worked with. Something I’ve been hoping to do is to collaborate with a clothing retailer and launch a cohesive wardrobe collection.
What is in the pipeline for you for 2021?
I’m really hoping to focus on launching a series of fine art collections, which is my primary focus this year. I also am hoping for a few product launches under my own brand.
Name three words that best describe your style of art.
Free, joyful, organic
What advice would you offer to those that are starting out as an artist?
I think having a mentor in the industry is SO helpful. I was very fortunate to have a variety of mentors in graphic design, they provided me with the knowledge, experience, and self-confidence to art as a career.
If you could talk to your younger self, what words of wisdom would you say?
Not to take everything so seriously. I’ve always worked really hard for what I’ve wanted, and I think it’s opened a lot of doors. But with that, I also would stress about minor projects, and let them cloud my vision for what’s truly important in life. As much as I love my career, there’s nothing more important to me than spending time with the people I love. Work can wait, the memorable moments with my daughters won’t.
Margaret’s designs are available on a range of fabrics from Nerida Hansen Fabrics. Shop them at www.neridahansen.com.au.