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Margaret Crowley Kiggins

Artist's Profile

Artist Statement:
Once, not too long ago, someone asked me to define "ART". Being an artist, and feeling like I should know - if anyone would - I pounced on the question only to find myself completely stunned that I had absolutely nothing to say. It is partly how I define myself, but I don't know how to define it. For weeks after, words and phrases began to emerge, like expression of the soul, creation, non-verbal communication, knowledge, wisdom, and vision. Art is not something that can be truly defined in linear terms. There is no question that Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel is art. What about this napkin that I have torn and twisted into an elegant tiny little paper sculpture that inspires me profoundly the brief moment it exists before being discarded? I believe, as humans, we are all artists, the only difference being that those of us who consciously practice art get to declare the title.
Being the first born daughter of a classical pianist and a classical painter, what choice did I have? To truly seal my fate, my parents both died tragically: my father when I was a child and my mother when I was a teenager. Their deaths made them larger than life and their short lives have been an incredible shaping force in my own life. My years in this life has landed me in many places; mostly in the eastern coastal states. If someone were to ask me where I was from, I suppose my initial response would be "North Carolina"; I spent a total of 15 years in that state. In 1990, I moved to southern Florida, where I currently reside with my family. I began my focus on watercolor during the same year for a plethora of reasons, but two stand out of the crowd: convenience and because I simply find it enchanting. I have found much success and have been warmly accepted by a gracious audience; especially since I began portraiture about 10 years ago. I have received many awards and have works in many private and a few corporate and museum collections. I was featured in a rather lengthy article in the Fall issue of American Artist's publication, Watercolor 1995, and my painting, Saturday Morning, was featured in the book, "Best of Watercolor 2" by Betty Lou Schlemm (Rockport/Quarry Books, July 1997). My style of work has always been realistic, no matter what the medium. I use photographs to work from, and I prefer to render the subject in an exacting manner while leaving the surrounding background less defined. I manipulate the colors of things to create a more lively vision. The end result is an accurate representation of the subject and a painting that is well designed and resplendent with light and color.

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