Artist Interview: Margaret (Peg) Watkins

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Artists, Feature

What media do you work in?
After being a potter for 30 years I now make my living with my glass art,
but paint as well. I mainly do abstract acrylics, but have also been exploring the
oil/cold wax process, and fabric collage.

What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own?
Glass: modernistic style using shape and color.
Painting: my development of texture and depth of color

What is one tool or supply you couldn’t live without?
Glass: 24” metal ruler and a cutting matt.
Painting: a cheap kitchen sponge.

How has your work changed over time?
Glass: doing more large work, and gold and silver pieces.
Painting: exploring more textures with handmade papers.

What is your creative process?
Glass: I usually start with a general idea of size & shape, then work with
my colors.
Painting: lay down my texture, add the under color, then add and remove
colors. Evaluate, then continue to add additional texture & color.

Where do you create, describe your design area and what do you like the most
about it?
About 7 years ago I was in a two story house, cutting glass in my living
room then carefully taking it to the basement to fire. Entertaining and family
dinners were impacted so I purchased a ranch home with an entire lower level I
could use as a studio. Also I can age in place in this lovely environment. After
re-wiring for my kilns, adding better lighting and plumbing I was set. Half the
area (my glass & display area) is finished, the other has a cement floor so is
perfect for my kilns and my painting. I am somewhat of a “messy” painter,
preferring to use sponges/knives, etc. rather than brushes so my “non finished”
space is PERFECT!
I like that I don’t have to drive to another location to work. I can get at it
anytime the creative juices flow. Also I can work back and forth with my glass as
painting are drying and can paint while my glass is firing. Also clean up is quick
and simple.

DISPLAY_SHIPPING area GLASS work area

What do you do when you are stuck?
Glass: clean up my studio! I can’t think or be creative in a messy space. I
find I process while cleaning and reorganizing. Reminds me of college when I
cleaned house before trying to write a paper.
Painting: set the work aside and start another. Many times I take an
unfinished work up to my living room to look at it, maybe even hang it on the
wall, until I can work out the next step. I am blessed with a great sense of
knowing when to stop, when a painting is complete. A real gift.

What is your desired color palette? Why?
Glass: metallics, red-black-white, jewel tones. Since my shapes are fairly
geometric and simple I like to let the colors carry the work.
Painting: earth tones. I still have a potters soul.

Do you work on single or multiple projects at on time.
Glass: multiple so I can fill my kilns. Hate to fire with empty space
available. Also more efficient to cut similar shapes all at one time.
Painting: multiple, so pieces can dry. Also sometimes need to step away
to see the whole.

What art organizations do you belong to?
I am a founding member of the Old Market Artists Gallery in the lower level
of the Passageway. I belong to the Joslyn Art Museum and the Durham
Museum. I am also a lifetime member of the Nebraska Recreation & Park
Association (I worked in the recreation field for the City of Omaha for almost 30
years). I find at my age I would rather DO my art than be involved in things so I
keep my association membership low.

You can learn more about Peg and her work here:

margwatkins@msn.com
oldmarketartists.com