Plein Aire and Studio
About Marge Drew


     Leaving the confines & the isolation of my studio to paint en plein air has been such a joy! I love learning new things about art, so when I went out-of-doors I switched painting mediums from watercolor paints to oil paints. I have found that the complexity of working under adverse weather conditions and its ever-changing light conditions has improved my skills while expanding my vision. Initially, switching to oil paint was just a bit of a struggle.
      I am thrilled when a butterfly lands on my painting or when an egret comes almost close enough to touch while I paint. I am fascinated when an alligator swims into my composition. Sometimes, I am unaware of small animals like armadillo when they scuttle by me, so I am startled. The tranquility of nature has been such a refreshing inspiration.
      My paintings usually reflect a feeling of soft tranquility. I also enjoy painting a dark stormy sky & the quiet moods of the overcast or rainy day. Painting in plein air is a marvelous adventure. It is a way to share my feelings about nature. It is also a way to preserve our rapidly diminishing landscape. Presently, I am attempting to combine plein air landscape with still life floral set-ups & of course, all on location in the great out-of-doors.


      Margé Drew is an internationally exhibited, award-winning artist. She is also an internationally published poet. She finds natures’ tranquility is now her major artistic influence. Twenty-four years of travel with her husband, Paul Milward, and his job relocations, brought great changes and much excitement. Relocations, with or without furniture, make an artists’ career a bit more complex; especially during the times when the art went into storage in one state while she lived in another state without access to her art. Moving has never dampened her artistic enthusiasm. However, moving may have changed the evolution of her art. It now encompasses poetry, wood block prints, stained glass, pottery, assemblages, photography and painting. Her furniture may have gone into storage, but never her art supplies nor her camera.
      Her photography was juried into a show by Ernest H. Brooks II, of the Brooks Institute of Photography. Five of her wildlife images were part of the wildlife invitational photography show Women in the Field which was sponsored by the Santa Barbara Arts Council. While living in California, she won numerous awards for her photography. Occasionally, she composes poetry for an art piece. Contain Thyself both a poem and an assemblage were juried into Craftmaker 94 at the San Luis Obispo Art Center. Because so many people wanted a copy of the poem, she made copies of it available with the donations to benefit the SLO Art Center. She creates conceptual political paintings just to express her voice.
      Recently, she moved from the studio into the sunlight to merge herself into the essence of landscape. She is now creating emotionally reflective plein air oil paintings. Occasionally, she paints in her studio, with watercolors from her still life floral compositional setups; usually on full sheets of Saunders 200 lb cold pressed paper. Sometimes she also paints landscapes en plein air with watercolors.
      Margé is an accomplished and passionate painter who earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in 1976 from Eastern Michigan University with high honors and on a full academic scholarship. She was also elected to the fraternity, Mortar Board, for her community service and academic achievements. She completed a double major in fine arts and in psychology. Her art emphasis was in ceramics and in life drawing. Michigan, her birth state, is where she raised her 4 wonderful sons and where after graduation she was employed as a crisis counselor and as a case manager until politics de-funded the program.
She even dabbled a bit in theater where she won the lead, Karen Andre, in Night of January Sixteenth.
      Two of her still life floral watercolor compositions (RA & Sometimes Life Gives…) are in the permanent collection of The Mobile Museum of Art in Alabama. She is also collected by the Big Sur River Inn Resorts & Angelicia Nurseries, Inc. She has exhibited in the Toledo Museum of Art and the Santa Maria Museum Art Center. Her work is published as cover art for the CD On Chynoweth Avenue and on the cover of the international magazine Amistad for The American Society of Mexico A.C. Amistad also published a full column story about her in their culture page. She has produced, promoted & exhibited in several charity benefit art shows.
      Life is a grand adventure for Margé; from skydiving to caucus chairperson for a state convention during a presidential election. From designing all the promotional advertising for a United Way fund raising antique show to drawing portraits in a mall in Michigan and in Montmartre in Paris. From demonstrating art to grade school children to demonstrating art for her peers. This only skims the surface of her life adventure. Life continues to be a grand adventure. Now, she paints where the alligators swim! Margé studied with Ted Vassar, Robert Burridge, Art Renshaw and Larry Morace.


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