Today’s “inspire me” interview is with Margaret Zox Brown, expressionist painter from New York City.
1) Please tell us a little about your art? And the materials you use.
I am an oil painter. All my paintings come from my own loose pen drawings which I am always doing, going from sketchbook to sketch book. I mostly paint using various palette knives, limiting my brush use to just a few lines or an occasional softer smear. I use a lot of different mediums in my paint creating various textures from this; from matte to gloopy and shiny, to thin and transparent, to scraped down to just a bruise of color.
2) How did your environment growing up and current surroundings fuel your creativity?
I grew up in New York City, in Manhattan with summers on the eastern end of Long Island. Both environments are culturally and visually so rich I couldn’t help but have a wealth of inspiration, always. I still live in my native New York and now can take advantage myself of all the art, culture and beauty that is here.
3) Have you had a mentor? How important do you think it is for an artist to have a mentor?
I have had a couple of mentors. When I first started painting 24 years ago, I was introduced to color by an art teacher who really opened the door for me. Then about 13 years ago, I started painting and studying with a very accomplished young artist who pushed me in ways I didn’t even think I had in me. I really feel, thanks to him, confident to express myself as I have been and that is just the coolest feeling. I think it is very important to have a mentor, just as I think it is important to paint and/or draw with other artists. All these things give you various perspectives that you otherwise would not see. You travel along the journey of your art being nudged here and there from these influences. They help to bring you to where you are as an artist. So yes, they are very important!
4) What is your biggest challenge as an artist and how do you overcome it?
I guess the biggest challenge is believing in yourself when others might not appear to be. Art and the expression of it is such a personal experience; it is you and you own it. You are sharing you. I believe it is overcome by working on yourself emotionally, living a conscious life and wanting to be the best you. Finding pure joy in the process really feels about as good as anything in this world so if you can hold onto that when all the other components associated with being a working artist come into play than you have overcome any challenges.
5) What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to pursue his or her creative dream?
Keep creating the work. It grows. You grow. Learn. See. Study. And do. If it is in you and you let it out it will be great.
6) Congratulations on your current solo exhibit in Philadelphia. For other artists who dream about showing their work in a gallery, what advice would you give them?
Same as everything I have been saying. Keep at it. You will believe in yourself and the work will exemplify that. You will then have the confidence to get it out there and it will be picked up by someone, some place, some where. And so on.
7) What is your DREAM for your journey as an artist?
To keep doing it! To keep being at a place where I am happiest with the work I am currently working on. And, to keep getting my work out into the world where others can enjoy it also. In truth, I would love to have a giant painting of mine be living in some urban public venue. That would be awesome.
8) What or who INSPIRE you the most?
I love many artists. Picasso for his drawings and his genius, Gaughin for his colors, DeKooning for his wild and expressive expression with paint, Matisse for his 2 dimensional presentation, Bonnard for his palette, Modigliani for his figures…
9) What else do you like to CREATE?
I am a free and inventive cook, always creating savory dishes. I cook like I paint; just doing it, adding this and that, making a huge mess and not thinking about or worrying about cleaning up or details until it is all done.