Complementing our exhibition calendar, is our Artist In Focus series, where we shine the light on one of our amazing artists by delving a little deeper into their practice and making a special feature of their work in our showroom.
Today’s artist in focus is Ballarat-based artist Margaret Voterakis who has us all in awe of her latest series of still-lifes.
Margaret has been painting since the seventies, always preferring to paint and draw from life. Whether, in her earlier painting career when traditional watercolour landscapes dominated her practice to today where she paints still-life working in a tighter style with rich layered colours and abstract elements.
We caught up with Margaret to share a little about her practice, her favourite places to source materials and her proudest career moments!
Your new work is so finely detailed and is executed so carefully, what are your favourite tools and materials?
I have worked extensively with watercolour in the past but currently I am painting in oils (have just started using Michael Harding’s beautiful hand crafted paint) on finely textured canvas or linen. I use mostly flat brushes which are a mix of nylon and bristle. Towards the end of a painting I bring out my pure sable brushes for the fine details.
Do you have any favourite art supply stores?
I love all art supply shops, but when I’m in Melbourne I frequent Seniors Art Supplies which is my nearest store and has a great comprehensive range (which means I’m always tempted to buy additional previously untried miscellaneous items – art materials are so alluring!).
Your work is so original, who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
Who inspires me is always changing. I have long admired the work of Nicholas deStael , Morandi, Chardin, Singer Sargent, William Delafield Cook to name but a few. More recently I have come across the work of Israel Hershberg, Dairmuid Kelley, Marzio Tamer, Anne Francoise Couloumy and Susan Ashworth. They have all influenced my work to some extent.
With a career spanning almost 50 years, what have been some of the highlights?
There has been quite a few! Winning the Alice Bale Watercolour Award in 1995 was a very proud moment. Being invited to hold an exhibition at the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery in 2004 where they also acquired one of my pieces for their collection and more recently, in 2006 I was invited to participate in the Gubbio International Art Exhibition in Italy where exhibiting in a country I find so inspiring was a real thrill.