Thursday, February 17, 2005
Maggie Fleming paints like a designer. Her canvases are, above all things, blocks of space. She places colors side by side, like a decorator pairing furniture with a room. You can imagine her paintings superimposed onto rugs or pillows, or you can just appreciate them the way they are, ready to hang on your well-appointed wall to accent your retromodern furniture.
Fleming is the painter for the Wallpaper and Architectural Digest crowd.
By trade, she is a textile designer and more often than not, she paints like one.
"I love color and pattern," she said.
She gains inspiration from ethnic textiles, but most of her ideas come from nature. She is an avid hiker and snowboarder and as she enjoys her time outdoors, Fleming always is taking mental notes. She sees the way the color of a bloom plays against the color of a branch or marvels at the muted oranges and greens of lichen and notice the way they pattern themselves on a rock.
For years, she painted landscapes, staying true to the shapes of things while playing with their colors. The effect looked like a color-by-number painting.
More recently, however, Fleming's paintings have obliterated the forms from nature while staying true to their colors.
Recently, she has been working on a series of striped paintings whose colors come directly from photographs of nature. She pulled the colors out of the photo and laid them out, side by side with paint. By isolating them, she could better appreciate their beauty.