It’s that time again–wherein the CHAW blog is turned over to a fantastic member of the Capitol Hill Art League (CHAL), and we get to zoom inside his or her creative brain! This month, we’re talking to Margo Johnson, longtime art-lover, traveler, teacher, and more. Read on to learn more about Margo and her process of capturing place.
Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Margo is a lifelong student of the arts. Having taught art in the public school for 36 years, she was trained in the fine arts and later in education, receiving a B.S. from the University of Delaware and later, a graduate degree from West Chester University.
Margo began her interest in art while in high school. Her art teacher would take those who had a serious interest in art to various shows in Philadelphia and New York. She became enamored with the work of the impressionist artist Claude Monet and in later years, visited his home in Giverny. After seeing both the watercolors and oils and having visited many of the places that John Singer Sargent painted, she was deeply influenced by his style.
Her Greek roots are the primary influence in both her approach to painting as well as her love for the outdoors. When traveling, either in Europe or locally, Margo stays in one location long enough to get to know the people and observe the influence the environment has on them.
In painting oceans, in whatever country she finds herself, she tells a story and creates a feeling about the location. Her oceans are filled with lush, sensual colors that create a certain atmosphere. She relates and retells a story in a variety of visual ways.
In the painting of her landscapes, be they urban or fields, she tries to relate an impression of life in that location. Again, with her rich colors, she creates a feeling of what it is like to be there. Lighting and palette are primary in Margo’s creation of that feeling.
She fell in love with the art scene in Washington, DC when her son, Todd, was a rower at Georgetown University and she became “food Mom” for their rowing team. She made repeated trips to D.C., during which she made time for visiting local art galleries: including the Corcoran, the National Gallery, the Freer Gallery, and a variety of others. The diversity of the people as well as the art in D.C. is most appealing her as she incorporates the importance of place into her own artistic practice.
Margo has participated in a number of juried invitationals and exhibits in Wilmington, Delaware; Chester County, Pennsylvania; and Philadelphia.
Some of her awards include:
Darlington Art Center – Best in Show
Center for Creative Arts – 2nd Place Winner
Delaware Valley Art League – 2nd Place Winner
Art Along the River – Featured Artist