BY: Audrey Levinson
Inside the artist is a vast array of the mind’s eye! Images, imagination, genres, beliefs, how to make the world a better place or cause a change in the world all through your art.
Meg Gregory grew up in the hamlet of Higginsville, town of Verona, NY. She was always a good student and felt confident in school. She found her artistic side ironically when she took a standing-room only chemistry course in her high school that was just too crowded for her. She dropped that class and opted into an art class. Meg enjoyed her artistic side and found this class to be just right for her. She excelled and her art teacher gave her kudos by featuring her artwork in the front lobby of the school. She said that not only did her art teacher take her under his wing but students who would otherwise not talk to her would stop her to ask questions or comment on her art. I could tell by the tone in her voice that this was a time of impact in her life and when I asked, she confirmed that it was.
So after Meg graduated, she went to Hobart and William Smith colleges. She majored in art and minored in anthropology. I have definitely come to realize that art and science both have commonalities to many artists. It may be the experimental process in both disciplines and the discovery of finding out what happens if I put this with that along with the historical elements define art history. Her high school experience led her to want to teach so she could help strengthen people emotionally just as her art teacher had done for her. She received her masters degree in art education at Syracuse University. Meg also took a fiber arts class and studied traditional women’s arts. She appreciates women’s crafts and believes that they are not a proponent to being “crafty” but are practical just as woodworking is to men. Men and women’s crafts have been stereotyped for a long time in our culture.
One of the assignments Meg has accomplished was to make a doll, not necessarily a typical doll but one using her imagination. She created a character of whimsy. Then she created more. They are unique! Meg knits and sews them into creatures with magnificent personalities. Currently, she is weaving with a 24″ Rigid Heddle Loom; tapestry looms, and a spinning wheel. Meg is enthralled with weaving, and she loves the relationship between colors even more than the patterns. She also enjoys charting out patterns. Meg explored the history and long ago knitting and weaving was not associated with gender. Vikings would knit and there was an Elizabethan period when knitting stockings was all the rage. Men and women were not tending to the fields but knitting stockings, and this became an economic issue.
Meg is a deep thinker and has the drive to examine the inner self and express that. She met with another pivotal point in her life that many of us have experienced. That is divorce. While healing from heartbreak, she would visit her long-time best friend with her dog and go for long walks in the woods. This comforted her. She decided to paint a portrait of her dog in a way that expressed the steadfast loyalty of her canine friend. She felt comforted by the way her dog chose to walk next to her through the woods without a leash. She added a cairn of rocks in the painting because historically Cairns were used to mark important things in places just as her friends welcoming home and the woods she loved to walk in with her dog. This was a place worth marking. Meg describes painting as her first boyfriend of whom she will always revisit. Though she has different artistic interests that are so varied from each other, she will always paint. In recent months, she has taken an interest in holistic herbs and has created some paintings based on them and other small woodland creatures. Meg enjoys abstractions and paints them beautifully. She is a powerhouse of so many types of creations. She sometimes paints outdoors, en plein air and will abstract nature as well.
I asked her which artists she is influenced by, and she named all but one that I was familiar with. They are Cezanne (particularly in high school), Kandinsky, Henri Moore, Georgia O’Keefe, and Emily Carr. Emily Carr was one of the famous Canadian painters who was known for her abstracted paintings of the outdoors. As I looked at Meg’s paintings, I could see a strong connection between Meg Gregory and Emily Carr. Meg is like the center of the sun with all its’ rays hitting different parts of the (art) world. She worries that this makes her name unrecognizable but with her vast experience and knowledge, she will find a time when her only focus is making her name throughout the art world.