Artist Maggie Waulklyn is a professional illustrator and adjunct professor at PNCA who lives and works in SE Portland near our Foster-Powell art supply store location. We're happy to have her as creative neighbor who loves bird watching, gardening and studying mushrooms, among other interesting things. Her art practice embraces letting go of control and letting "happy accidents" happen. She has painted murals and created art for some of our favorite magazines, including Illustoria Magazine, Bitch Magazine and Williamette Week. We're excited to share her beautiful art and helpful tips with you today.
Tell us briefly about your art:
My work has been veering quieter and quieter as the world gets louder and louder. I am always interested in the natural world -- in the little insects and birds and everything that inhabits it. But I am also interested in the tensions of modern life and how we maintain modern life -- the workers, the ham-fisted policies, the disconnect between those in power and those without it. My work tends very gentle and inviting -- well suited for the children's market -- but this interest in more complex, messy ideas makes for an interesting work day. How does one seamlessly blend these two? I enjoy highlighting things we wouldn't necessarily appreciate at first glance. I like to dig deeper. It isn't enough THAT it works, I want to know WHY it works, what's behind it working and why don't we know more about it?
What is your main medium of art?
Gouache, fountain pen inks
What are your website and links?
Please share your techniques & tips with us:
Bob Ross was right about "happy accidents". I find we tend to be too controlled for our own good, and when we surrender a little to the tools we're working with, they will often guide us to more interesting lines or shapes than we would have let ourselves do on our own, and the expressiveness within that is integral to making work that catches the eye. You don't need the PERFECT brush or pen or paper to get your point across. Perfect is the enemy of the good, but also seeking ONLY the good is the enemy of satisfaction. You need to let yourself make "bad" work with "flawed" tools sometimes to understand what "good" even means to you.
Make sure you check out more of Maggie's art on her website and her Instagram account. You can read her blog and stories that include the time she was an extra in the Portland Opera, her travels around the country and her love for birdwatching and mushrooms.
Be Our Next Featured Artist!
We still need a lot more submissions for our "Oregon Artists Share Tips & Techniques" series. Please submit your work at the button below.
Heather Reed is the Assistant Manager/Buyer and office rockstar at IBF. She writes all of our emails, blog posts and and manages all of our social media sites. Heather is also an artist and has experience in lots of various mediums. You will usually find her researching new products, finding the best bargains, writing, painting, enjoying nature, all while chasing around her two vivacious little boys.