October 19-November 28, 2021
Reception: Saturday, October 30, 2-4
Margaret Jean Taylor has been engaged in art making for decades, as a painter, printmaker and creator of artist’s books. Over the years, she has worked closely with printers, book binders and graphic designers to realize multi-faceted projects that include portfolios and artists’ books.
Zea Mays Printmaking has had the privilege of working with Margaret Jean on several projects. In the first projects that Margaret contracted Liz Chalfin to print for her, Liz was still the teacher – but as Margaret gained confidence in being the director of the project, working together became easy and a give and take collaboration developed. Soon, other printers were brought in to assist with the projects including Nancy Diessner, Elena Betke-Brunswick and Kevin Pomerleau.
Throughout her career as an artist, Ms. Taylor has turned her focus to the landscapes of the places she’s lived and loved, from New England to Montana to Texas and beyond. Her depictions capture the beauty of a place, along with the turbulence of the atmosphere, and the feeling of being immersed in the natural world. In a recent work, she mines the depths of a dream, calling out to white America to study Black History and ALL of white history as well.
“Over the years I developed a way of working – of thinking about art every day, a way of making art or reading about art or visiting shows that kept art in my life every day. The way that worked best was to divide the work into what what I wanted to explore, what I wanted to learn, or what media suited the time or place I had. Give a title to the year’s work, for example: Montana colors of Spring, memories, sketches and how to use printmaking to explore these.
Could I describe the glorious sense of space, green and blue in spring?
I would have to try.
The way was made by walking.
Before Montana, an early question for me was how to create an abstract landscape. I began drawing landscapes in front of me -anything would do. I divided spaces of a landscape into front or back or middle and assigned values to them. I worked from already full sketchbooks of landscapes or real spaces in front of me. When I reached 12 in a series of etched plates, I saw I had made the twelfth one very abstract, and, though I thought it good, and kept it, it showed me where I didn’t want to go. I also saw that the third one was too much like the second one and not abstract enough. I scraped a large part of it away and began again. It became “Horizon from Landscape lll.” I had found I wanted to stay related to a feeling of landscape.
Because I had been carrying a question around with me: how do I show light in a black and white etching ? – the exhibition in Boston that year of Pissarro’s etchings was full of answers. In fact, I returned to see the exhibit again. Studying the Masters is never a waste of time.
Each of the projects in this show began with questions I asked myself. And I found the answers as I worked toward finding them.”
Margaret Jean – October 2021