Marvelous Margaret

One of Margaret’s quotes (detail from one of my pictures)

As a creative woman, it’s important to have heroines and to be inspired and encouraged by what women can do. It’s so important to stay focused on what you can do at the same time and to not be distracted. When a beautiful poster arrived from the States the other day by american artist Margaret Kilgallen, I was struck again by just how much I love her work and her spirit, which tragically ended too soon. Watching one of the short films made about her (and indeed her own heroines) says it all really. I like to think that her daughter that survived her will go on to be equally wonderful in the world.

Margaret Kilgallen’s work is bold – large scale, directly and confidently painted onto walls, trains and wooden boxes. Her re-occuring motifs are quietly reassuring –  figures caught in conversation, fairground vernacular typefaces and random phrases – often repeated but somehow never dull. She had a natural feel for colour though used a limited palette. Her brushed curved lines were impressively smooth. It seems regularity of line was a constant holy grail for her – she declared that the ‘hand wobble’ evident in a line was what made it really beautiful.

Heroines don’t leave the building or pack their bags in your mind, they stay with you for your whole life, ebbing then flowing when something suddenly reminds you of them. Feverishly you then hunt out their work, recapturing that spark that lit you up the first time you saw their pictures. As the autumn nights begin to darken thank goodness for other sources of warmth and light such as Margaret’s.



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