The Other Art Fair

Chicago: An Interview with Painter Maggie Macdonald

Following the launch of the Chicago edition of The Other Art Fair, we interviewed a few artists to get to know them a little better.

Meet Maggie Macdonald, a painter, printmaker, ceramicist and calligrapher based in Spartanburg, SC. Inspired by the ocean, various aspects of nature, and the iconography of the west coast lifestyle, she uses bold strokes and vivid color to embody the different aspects of life along the coast. Her work captures the essence of the place she loves and is charged by the waters that never leave her mind.

“The lapping of the sea against the rocks, the soles of my feet burning against the hot sand, the warm summer breeze rustling the leaves of palms, and the crash of ocean waves against my board.”

What’s your favorite part of the process?

My favorite part of the process is not planning. I feel that in life we spend so much of our time overthinking everything — thinking it through once and then thinking it over again. It seems almost a liberation to be able to just jump right in and lean in to whatever creative intuition leads my hands to create.

What draws you to paintings specifically?

I love the wide range of possibilities, how it moves, how it feels somewhat limitless. Something about paint, its flexibility, its vibrancy — I’ve just never be able to put it down.

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

My paintings and prints are born through a intermingling of natural subjects such as the ocean waves and the power of the rushing water and air. Bold strokes and intense colors within my body of work enable me to create works that represent these elements. It is my desire that the art I create brings people a sense of calm, joy, happiness and for some even nostalgia. My love of the ocean and of surfing creates an underlying drive in my creative pursuits. This marriage of my passions has allowed me to create works that represent who I am to the core. It is my hope that my art would represent my homeland well and provide a physical documentation of the place where my spirit and soul reside, the West Coast.