It has been a while since I did a non photography introduction and while I was searching for someone for today I came across Margaret Preston’s work. She was a prolific painter and printmaker here in Australia. Most Australian artists know who she was and I thought maybe I could tell you about her as well.
Looking back on artists like Preston can help with our photography. They saw the world in a unique way and it is good to explore that when we are taking our own images. We can see the possibilities and how anything is possible.
I mainly know her because of her linocuts. Though, I didn’t really realize that she did a lot of landscape paintings and prints as well.
Here is a little information about her from Wikipedia:
Margaret Rose Preston (29 April 1875 – 28 May 1963) was an Australian artist. She was known during the 1920s to 1940s for her modernist works as a painter and printmaker and for introducing Aboriginal motifs into contemporary art.
If you click on the link you can read a lot more about her.
What I know her for mostly are the linocut flowers. She did a lot of these using flowers that we grow in our gardens here. They were very detailed, and considering how hard it is to do colours in printmaking it incredible to see how many she has done.
Here is some more information about her from the SAHistoryHub site.
In 1885 she moved to Sydney with her family, later studying painting there with William Lister Lister. In the 1890s she studied at the National Gallery’s school of painting in Melbourne under Bernard Hall before coming to Adelaide to study with H.P. Gill at the School of Design, Painting and Technical Arts. It was during the 1890s in Adelaide that she first exhibited professionally as an artist, showing paintings at the South Australian Society of Arts. From 1899 to 1904 and again from 1907 to 1912 Preston taught in Adelaide. Her concentration on tonalism in her early work influenced the art of her students, the most notable of whom were Bessie Davidson, Stella Bowen, May Grigg and Gladys Reynell. Her still-life The tea urn (c. 1909) is typical of this style of painting.
While she is known for her landscapes she is more commonly known as a still life artist and when you look her up you will find many more still life images.
She died in 1963, but is still remembered well here. She is one of Australia’s most talented artists and it is wonderful to see that a woman is also represented in the history of Australian art.
I have a gallery of her work for you now. Many of the images are from Sydney where she spent a great deal of time. I hope you enjoy her work.