Art at the Park - From the HeART by Maggie Le Conte
Art at the Park’s new exhibition for July will be Maggie Le Conte’s ‘From the HeART’.
Maggie Le Conte will be exhibiting at National Trust of Guernsey's Art at The Park Gallery, The Folk and Costume Museum, Saumarez Park from Wed 5 July to Friday 28 July. Open 10am – 5pm seven days a week.
Maggie Le Conte was born in Natal, South Africa & came to Guernsey as a teenager.
From a very early age she developed a great love of painting & drawing . Self taught, she was also mentored & encouraged by her artist parents. In her final year at school Margaret Waller FIAL taught her & over the years has been tutored by a few talented professional artists on painting trips & workshops. SciFi artist, Chris Foss has also been a mentor to her.
Her work has been shown in exhibitions at Coach House Gallery, Sula Gallery & Sausmarez Manor locally though some of her paintings are spread throughout the world. This exhibition at Art at the Park is her first solo. She has named it “From The HeART” as this what she feels expresses her intent…all her pictures are from the heart. Within the word “heart” is the word “art” which she found entirely appropriate.
Her love of nature, history, dance, music, sci-fi & fantasy is reflected in her “eclectic” art. She likes to paint widely different genres such as flora, landscapes, seascapes, life drawing & imaginative art using different mediums to suit the subject & mood. Whilst she is painting she listens to music as she finds this very helpful to let the creative juices flow.
Asked why she has such diverse subjects & styles she explains that it just feels “right” to her.. for example, some subjects merit delicate, detailed brushwork & therefore watercolours are more suited. It all depends on what catches her eye & heart. Her love of the natural world heavily influences her work from painting “en plein air” in Guernsey, which has such beautiful cliffs & beaches, where she resides. She especially finds joy in her large garden & “jungle” greenhouse where so many flowers in bloom have inspired a lot of her paintings. It is her haven. She finds that by painting or drawing flowers they have a deep calming & almost meditative effect on her.
As a child she loved to read fairy tales, myths & legends especially books with illustrations. Then as a teenager & now as an adult she really enjoys reading the fantasy genre as they appeal to her imaginative nature. Hence, you will see the odd dragon appear in her creations especially in her Christmas cards. Each year she designs a new seasonal card depicting dragons which are quite often mischievous. They are always in pen & ink. She also has some pen & ink fantasy prints which are purely from her imagination. Often she will not know the final outcome of these drawings as they just evolve. If asked is she ever bored she will tell you “no, never” as she merely dives into her imagination where there is a vast & varied world to explore.
She attends life drawing sessions at Elizabeth College, run by Head of Art, Adam Stephens during term times on a Sunday morning. These she loves to go to as for those couple of hours one has to entirely focus on drawing the model & all cares & worries are put aside. By learning how the human figure is put together then helps her be able to use that knowledge to create her fantasy dancing figures.
Several years ago she planned to do a set of paintings depicting the four Seasons. Autumn was completed some years ago then the idea was shelved until recently. All of them are inspired by flowers & trees found in her garden & then reimagined. She also likes to “hide” some fauna in plain sight for a bit of fun. Her challenge was to paint much bigger canvases than she is used to. Life is not always easy & she found by channelling her love of the beauty around her has helped her in these paintings. It had the added benefit of displacing negative feelings. Autumn & Spring are close up portrayals with bigger strokes of the brush & stylised whereas Summer & Winter are more detailed with perspective. All of them are bright & vibrant even Winter.
She is passionate about art & always encourages everyone to have a go & express themselves, explore & have fun with it. Art can lift the spirit of the both the creator & the viewer. If asked what she wants her exhibition to achieve it is this heartfelt sentiment…to lift your spirits.
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- Folk and Costume Museum Saumarez Park Castel GY5 7UJ