Mixed Media Artist Mary Margaret Briggs | ArtThatFits Articles


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“Vines 15” Mary Margaret Briggs

The abstracted monotypes that Mary Margaret Briggs creates on her home of Vashon Island, Washington, have photorealistic details that come together to create collaged panels. Mary Margaret Briggs’ mixed media pieces come from pieces of her other prints. Mary Margaret Briggs was born and raised and influenced by the colors of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest Mary Margaret Briggs now calls home. Other inspirations for Mary Margaret Briggs’ collages include her former textile design background and the time she spent abroad in Hong Kong.

Vines 15, by Mary Margaret Briggs could readily have been cut from a swatch of fabric she designed in her former profession. The quadrants of positive and negative images of a reaching vine turn and twist in direction around Mary Margaret Briggs’ print. Rich scarlets, golds and chartreuse backgrounds provide heavy contrast to the realistic vines that make up the focal points of Vines 15, created by Mary Margaret Briggs. The negative of the plant are bold and unfilled plots of cream, whereas the heavily veined and detailed positive image of the vines lay on a lighter color of the vine Mary Margaret Briggs created. Such warm colors seem to transpose the cooler toned greens traditionally seen in this piece by Mary Margaret Briggs.

Mary Margaret Briggs uses such unusual media in her collages as found Chinese book pages and joss papers, coarse, small rectangles of bamboo paper that the Chinese burn in traditional ancestor worship ceremonies and funerals. This “ghost money” Mary Margaret Briggs uses, as it’s sometimes referred to, ensures the dead will have abundance in the afterworld. Mary Margaret Briggs also uses cut up pieces of previous monotypes and then gives her pieces an unusually rich, almost velvety finish by covering the artwork with many layers of an oil-based varnish. This finish combined with Mary Margaret Briggs’ use of uncommon papers, gives the prints of Mary Margaret Briggs a texture that reflects that of the foliage she obviously so dearly adores. Mary Margaret Briggs’ love of the natural world is gifted to the viewer in her work.