Margaret Buie

I have always created art. I have always drawn and painted. The act of creation gives me a sense of both pleasure and accomplishment. The actual process of painting has become an exercise in meditation. Contrasts and structure in the visual world, light and shadow, bright against dull, warm versus cool, texture contrasted with smooth is what inspires me to paint.

Having taught watercolor painting for years, I became proficient in its usages and techniques. I could make the media do what I wanted it to do, but I finally realized that my watercolors, based on expertise in technique, did not look appreciably different than everyone else's watercolors. So I began using the media in a different way: changing the paper I painted on, layering the colors, forgoing the easy use of traditional techniques and developing a more individual style of working. My subjects have to engage my attention visually. That is, there have to be strong compositional elements present before I will embark on a painting. I decide on the composition through a manipulation of the elements of design. I start by gathering data through on-site sketching or photography. I then select photographs or sketches or a combination of both for development into a finished composition. My paintings are begun with a carefully drawn plan of the composition. Minor details are drawn in after the painting process has begun.

I respond to visual structure. I may like the way light shines against dark shadows, or I may like the color and pattern of the stone in a building, or the structure that different shapes make across a space. It's intuitive. The inspiration for the major portion of my work comes from travels and events that have an instantaneous impact on me. I paint what I paint because I've responded to the subject emotionally and it speaks to me.