Cindy: When you do your own inkblots do you instantly see your image or is it a work in progress?
Margaret: Sometimes I see something instantly, no problem, and some inkblots take awhile to reveal themselves. Its like working a crossword puzzle—there’s a sticky clue, you sleep on it and the next day it seems so simple you wondered why it was hard the day before.
Then my son Sam (age 9) walked by and said, “Oh, look at that face! See? Two eyes, and a nose, ears on top and a big screaming mouth!”
Cindy: Isn’t that so cute? Love it. Its hard to believe that actually started out as an inkblot. Do you have a favorite inkblot you have done and if so, what is it and why?
Margaret: My current favorite inkblot is Baby Monster. It is quite large, 22” x 30”. I did it five years ago, when my son was four years old—the blot looked like him (if he were a cute monster) asleep, all tangled up in his sheets and toys. It is hanging in my son’s room—I gave it to him.
Cindy: Another great one and I can only imagine how nice it must look enlarged. You have worked on some pretty amazing Broadway shows! What was your favorite to work with and why?
Margaret: I have lots of Broadway favorites. I especially enjoyed working with the design team on Shrek the Musical. Tim Hatley’s costume designs were witty and fun. For the show, I painted Pinocchio. I puzzled for ages over how to paint fabric so it looked like wood. But once I figured it out (sort of a monoprint process), it was like a stubborn crossword clue—why hadn’t I thought of it before?!
My favorite costume to paint, without question, was for American Ballet Theater’s production of Sleeping Beauty, designed by Willa Kim. She designed Carabosse—the evil fairy who curses Beauty. Ms. Kim said, I want her to look gorgeous but sinister, as if she was “rotting from within.” So the draper (the woman who made the costume) and I figured out how to collage and paint fabric, so that she looked like she was made of beetle wings, and vines, and bits from the forest floor– lovely and poisonous. It was totally collaborative. I can’t think when I have had more fun working on a costume.
Cindy: As an artist, do you have a favorite medium to work with?
Margaret: India ink. Really! It is wonderful to make inkblots with, of course, but is also a wonderful drawing and painting tool. When you thin it with water, it makes lovely warm washes.
Cindy: I am really looking forward to working with India ink more. Are you currently working on anything right now?
Margaret: I am painting planets. This one is paper mounted on board. You can see the combination of watery India ink and paint that I distressed the background with before I started painting the planet.
Cindy: Love that one. Looking back at your inkblots from when you were in kindergarten do you still see the same image or something else? (That must have been amazing to look at all these years later.)
Margaret: It was amazing. I was stunned that my mother had saved them for so many years! I can’t remember if I saw pictures in them as a child. What I recall mostly is loving how the tempera colors blended between the folded halves. I thought it was magic.
Cindy: My son and I had so much fun doing the ones we did and I am sure we will creat more and i will be keepig them. Funny enough as we were doing them. He would see things I didn’t. When you’re not busy doing inkblots, what do you do?
Margaret: I read, hang out with my son and husband, cook, write and draw in my sketchbook. I do woodcuts, and paint a costume or two. And I am learning to swim!
Cindy: I was learning to swim too but I kept getting ear infections and sadly had to stop my lessons. Being as busy as you are, do you have time to read and — if so — what are you currently reading?
Margaret: I am reading two things. I am on the last book of Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven series. My son reccommended them, and they are really fun. I am also reading Faithful Place by Tana French, which is wonderful—hard to tear myself away from it to do anything.
Cindy: Hmm I have never read Fablehaven but it sounds interesting. I will have to check them out. What would people be surprised to discover about you? (That they might not know)
Margaret: I really like to watch baseball, or listen to it on the radio. My mother and I used to watch it together when I was a child, and I love everything about it.
Cindy: What inspires you?
Margaret: I love looking at art. I am currently really in to the paintings of Walton Ford. And I love to go to the beach—even in the winter.
I would love to thank Margaret for taking the time out of her busy schedule for answering my questions and to the lovely Diane for arranging this interview for me. Thank you ladies.
I was going to do a separate post with our inkblots but since my computer has been acting funny most of the week I thought I would just add them to this post. As you can see we didn’t complete them because Michael would see different elements in them and wanted to wait before drawing on them.
Looking at the photos I see things I didn’t see before so I am happy we didn’t do anything to the pictures yet but I am thinking I might go and photocopy them before hand.
I was lucky enough to score a copy for one of my readers to win.
All you have to do is go to The Inkblot’s site and tell me which one is your favorite Inblot and why.
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