ART GALLERY--Margaret SPEER Works for Sale. BIDDINGTON'S ART GALLERY--More Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture.

Artists' Studio Visits at Biddington's Art Gallery
Margaret Speer painting Icefields Park

Landscape, Seascape & Travel Paintings

CREATIVE PROCESS talks with Arkansas artist Margaret Speer about the landscape, seascape and travel painting portion of her work.

Editor's Note: Through her remarkable sense of color, Margaret Speer imbues new life into the "travel painting" genre. Historically, this type of painting produced important talents such as Guardi, Canaletto and Bierstadt. In our era, any traveler knows that a contemporary painting evoking the spirit of a favorite destination is a scarce--and much sought after--artwork.

Margaret SPEER: My sense of place is achieved through observation--and instinct. More often than not, the painting is not an exact rendering but a composite of several images organized to achieve compositional necessities.

Margaret Speer Icefields Parkway Northwest Series

Margaret Speer painting Greek Island

Margaret SPEER: I was born in Arkansas and still live there, but I have moved around and traveled quite a lot: Colorado, New Mexico, the Caribbean, France, Greece. When I traveled I took photos--or my sister did--and I started painting from those photos and from memory. I continue to do that. I have a good visual memory and a love of nature. The rest is effected through color and brushwork.

Margaret Speer Greek Island #4

Margaret Speer  French painting Hidden Place

Margaret Speer A Hidden Place Provence Series

Margaret SPEER: Over the years, I 've been called a colorist--whatever that means. I have studied color theory--mostly on my own. Color is ultimately a mystery. As such, I believe it is instinctive and difficult to teach.

Margaret Speer painting Caribbean Dawn Sky

Margaret SPEER: Composition is the other "difficulté" to painting. An artist is naturally one or the other: drawn to color or drawn to form.

Margaret Speer
Caribbean Dawn Sky

Margaret SPEER: Color is basically emotional and intuitive; form and composition are basically analytical and intellectual. I am the former in artistic matters.

Margaret SPEER: I studied art in many different kinds of places: universities, summer art schools and with individuals. The hard thing is not to end up painting just like the teacher--which happens way too often. Many artists never have the nerve to move away from what they've been taught or what is in fashion at the moment. Therein lies the danger of an art education.

Margaret Speer Arkansas painting Neighborhood Trees

Margaret SPEER: Guy Bardone, Casmir Rutowski and Wolf Kahn are some of my favorite living landscape painters. From history, I like Van Gogh, Leon Gaspard and Bonnard. All of these painters are masters of color.

Margaret SPEER: I have done as good work here in Arkansas as anywhere else. But one wants new stimulus, fresh visions to keep inspired; that's why travel is beneficial.

Margaret Speer Neighborhood Trees
Arkansas Series

Margaret SPEER: In our region, there are quality art resources: Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, The Philbrook in Tulsa, Memphis Art Museum and, of course, the Kimbell in Ft.Worth.

Margaret SPEER: Sometimes I work quickly, but I'm trying to slow down. I've learned to be skeptical of results gotten too quickly. They are usually shallow--mine and others'. I disapprove of finding a style or genre and then painting the same things forever. That work almost always becomes stale and repetitive and one becomes a manufacturer of "art-like" objects.

Margaret Speer painting Santa Fe Cathedral

Margaret SPEER: In the beginning, I did very representational, realist work because that's how I was taught--correctly, I believe. Then I spent years working away from that toward abstract work. Now, I move between those two poles using what seems to fit the subject or what problem I'm trying to improve at the moment. All of it helps.

Margaret Speer landscape, seascape and travel paintings
are offered for sale in Biddington's Contemporary Art Gallery.
Price range: $375-$1500
Email or phone Biddington's (212 838-3572 Mon-Fri 9-5 EST)
to inquire about additional works by this artist.

Margaret Speer Santa Fe Cathedral

Margaret Speer New England painting Autumn Margaret SPEER Selected Collections:
Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR
President and Mrs. William J. Clinton
Fort Smith Art Center, Fort Smith, AR
Arkansas Best Corporation, AR
Systematics, Inc., Little Rock, AR

Margaret SPEER Selected Solo Exhibitions:
1998, 1995, 1993 Fort Smith Art Center, AR
1996, 1994 Palmer's Gallery, Hot Springs, AR
1996 Sen. David Pryor Office, Washington, DC
1995 New Works Gallery, Kansas City, MO

Margaret SPEER Selected Group Exhibitions:
Raison d'Etre Gallery, Washington, DC
The Collector Gallery, Washington, DC
Arkansas Art Center Exhibition for National Museum of Women in the Arts, Little Rock, AR
Arkansas Art Center 1989, 1991, 1994, Little Rock, AR
Edith Lambert Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Arte Galleries, Houston, TX
Arkansas Territorial Museum, Little Rock, AR
Governor's Mansion, Little Rock, AR
Images Gallery, Fort Smith, AR
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
Gallery 16 East, Tulsa, OK
Jerome Gallery, Aspen, CO

Margaret Speer Autumn Trees Rock Wall New England Series


CREATIVE PROCESS at Biddington's is designed as a forum for watching art in the making. Usually, this process happens in the privacy of the artist's studio. At BIDDINGTON'S--Contemporary Art Gallery & upmarket, online art & antiques auctions--we find it interesting to witness the steps leading to the end product and to hear the artists speak about their work in the relaxed surroundings of their own studios.

Email Biddington's with your comments.

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