Margaret Prentice

Drawing has been at the foundation of  Margaret Prentice’s artwork over the years. She now focuses on oil painting on stretched canvas but her work has also included etchings, woodcut prints, artists’ books, and watercolor paintings and drawings.  Over the years her subject matter has moved from magical realism with an emphasis on abstraction to what might be called realism inspired by her emotional experience and observation of nature.  “I want to express what fascinates me when I discover nature, if it be in a forest, on a beach by the ocean or in the high desert.  I am first attracted to the quality of light and shadow creating value shapes and then the colors, textures and the uniqueness of some details as it tells a story of place.  I must have a certain love of that place to want to paint my knowing of it.  I typically work from the sketches and photos I’ve completed on site.”

Margaret Prentice was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and received at BFA from the University of Arizona in Tucson and an MFA from the University of Colorado in Boulder where she majored in printmaking, focusing on intaglio etching and woodcut prints with a foundation of drawing.  She taught briefly in the Art Departments at Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  In 1986 she began a tenure track teaching position in the Art Department, School of Design, University of Oregon in Eugene teaching drawing, intaglio and relief printmaking, papermaking, artists’ books for 26 years and is currently a Professor-Emeritus.

Prentice has exhibited her work in over 260 exhibitions nationally and internationally.  Her work may be found in over 55 public collections including the Houghton Library at Harvard University, Dartmouth University, Northwestern University, Yale University Special Collections, the Getty Museum Collection, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, China National Academy of Fine Arts, Maryland Art Institute, Portland Art Museum, Halle Ford Museum of Art.

In 2009, after a long illness, Margaret began to paint still-life with oils at the kitchen table just to entertain herself during her recovery.  As soon as she could go outside in nature, she was captured by the variety of color, the quality of light and atmosphere in the space of the landscape.  She had previously only painted realism with watercolors in her sketchbooks when traveling internationally to remember her favorite places but had no experience with oil painting realism in nature before.  Because she has some physical limitations walking on irregular surfaces in the landscape, she mostly paints from her sketches and photo references, only occasionally painting plein-air.  She also loves working larger, at times up to 36” x 48”, on stretched canvases, sizes that need to be done in the studio.  Since then, she has had 2 solo shows at White Lotus Gallery in Eugene, OR. in 2015 and 2017.  Also in 2017 she showed 12 paintings in “American Views: Emerging Landscapes”, a group invitational at the Rogue Gallery, in Medford, OR.  In 2018, Margaret had a solo show of her work in the Office of the Governor, Oregon State Capitol, Salem, OR. and showed her paintings in 2 juried exhibitions, “Likeness” at Umpqua Valley Arts Association, Roseburg, OR and “Expressions West 2019”, when she was given an Award of Merit at the Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, OR.  She showed paintings in 2 group shows at White Lotus Gallery, “She Flies with Her Own Wings”, March/April 2019, and in “Water”, April/June.  In May 2019 the Oregon Arts Commission Committee for Public Art purchased 10 of her paintings to be installed in Tykeson Hall, a newly constructed building, at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

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