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.


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: