Our first Spotlight Artist is: 

Margaret Rose Giddens with their submission “Blood Madrone

1.  What was your artistic process behind making “Blood Madrone”? 

When I created Blood Madrone I was considering myself and what self meant. Who is Margaret? What are my values? What inspires me? 

I am a sensitive soul. I am often driven by emotion and my feelings flow into everything I create. I put my heart into my work, hence the appearance of the heart in Blood Madrone. I value nature and love the pacific northwest. Bits of the natural world end up in most of my artwork. I wanted to include a tree that was native to Oregon and has long loved the smooth texture of madrone trees. I have often been referred to as a gazelle in my younger years, which does not bother me, as I think gazelles are quite graceful creatures. The gazelle makes a small, almost unnoticed appearance in the upper left leaves of Blood Madrone.

  I asked myself a lot of questions and it took me a while to sort through my ideas. I studied madrone trees and anatomical human hearts. I utilized my artistic license to morph the heart into the earth encasing the tree roots. Once I started putting the elements onto paper and trying to make the pieces fit, everything fell together quickly. My next step was to draw, trace, and cut.

I enjoy the cutting. It feels meditative. Once I begin it is hard to stop. Moving the paper around to adjust the angle of the cuts, feeling my muscles act from memory, as though this is what they were meant to do, it brings me joy. 

 2.  How do you feel you personally grew in 2020? How do you hope to grow in 2021?

In 2020 I prioritized my happiness. While this was not always easy and there were many dark days (particularly during Fall term) I did my best. I spent most of the summer days in nature with my child and close friends, playing in rivers and lakes. I chose to cut sugar out of my diet, as well as gluten. I started to focus inwards and to fuel my own fire instead of the fires of the supporting characters in my life. 

In 2021, with my Saturn return in full swing, I am diving even deeper into self and my journey. I intend to focus on my mental health and all the things that fuel the fires of my soul.  

3. What helps you feel inspired to create again when you go through a creative drought and feel unmotivated?  

I have noticed that when challenges arise in my personal life, I am often inspired in my creative work. I think that the motivation goes back to that meditative state. When I am working, I find that I am subconsciously working through my personal issues at the same time. I find myself in a drought when I feel as though I have run out of puzzles to work through in my personal life. Lucky for me, I am in a constant state of change (as we all are) which places me into a constant state of puzzle-solving, and creating. An essential motivator for me is the drive to always be working towards growing the life of myself and my child. When I am happy, she is happy, and when I am creating, I am happy. 

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