Margot Lovinger

AFTERNOON

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Until attempting this piece, I had never worked with low contrast, or a light palette, and I wanted to see if I could do it. The reason this posed such a challenge is that I typically use a lot of layers to define forms. In the darkest parts of a piece, there might be as many as 15 layers of fabric that create the color you see. In the lightest parts, maybe there are only 6 or 7 layers. But with this piece, I had to figure out how to define the forms with far fewer layers, because I had set her up surrounded by white, and if I put too many layers on top of it, it would very quickly get muddy and dark. Also, I wanted the whites to be distinct from each other, to represent different textures and slightly different shades, but I could only tint them with tulle a very little bit, or else they’d all turn into pastels. It forced me to completely re-think the way I was working.

Size : 50″w x 30″h
Year : 2007
Price : SOLD

 


DEMETER

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In greek mythology, Demeter is the Goddess of the Harvest. It is she that bade the fruits to grow and ripen. She was worshipped, not by bloody sacrifices that many of the other gods favored, but by every humble act that made the farm fruitful.

 


VOLUPTAS

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This was the first piece in which my model is portrayed in an actual setting. Most of my backgrounds up to this point were sort of amorphous draped fabric backgrounds, rather than exitsting locations. In this one, I wanted to figure out how to really make it look like the model was lying in that pile of pillows. It was interesting to see how, with each successive layer of tulle and shadow, she seemed to be sinking further and further back into her nest of cushions. The Latin word “Voluptas” means pleasure or bliss. Voluptas was the beautiful daughter born of Cupid and Psyche, and is known as the goddess of sensual pleasures.

Size : 58″w x 29″h
Year : 2006
Price : $3000

 


ARTEMIS

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MIRANDA ON BLUE

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This figure study came together in the autumn of 2012, after I had finally completed reconstruction of Demeter, which was a very long process. I wanted to make something much simpler than that piece had been, and decided upon a nude with a monochromatic background. I loved making the quilt within a quilt, working with all those luscious blues.

Size : 56″w x 24″h
Year : 2012
Price : $4000

 


SLEEPING MUSE

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This quilt depicts my friend Mandy, and it is an homage to Andrew Wyeth's Helga series. When I contemplate the paintings of Andrew Wyeth, I am struck by the sense of stillness and grace that pervades his work. Every wintery landscape and simple interior, rendered with extraordinary realism, is treated with equal sensitivity. His portraits of Helga communicate a silent serenity- in the relaxed, natural poses, the sense of privacy and calm. Borrowing the painter's color palette, and interpreting his subtle dry brush technique with layers of sheer tulle instead of watercolor, completing this quilt brought me a new appreciation for his mastery.

Size: 20” x 20”
Year : 2013
Price : $1800

 


MORNING LIGHT

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This piece was intended to be hardly more than a rough sketch, but it didn’t really turn out that way. I wanted to see if I could do a simpler piece, with a one-fabric base layer under everything and then only four layers of tulle to describe the whole image. I didn’t manage to do it in four, but I think I limited myself to seven. I had originally planned to just do the whole piece in a day! Ha! It was closer to a month.

Size : 25″w x 23″h
Year : 2010
Price : $900

 


MOON

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The challenge in this piece was capturing the look of moonlight on the model’s skin and in the sky. I started by layering a couple of shades of shimmer tulle over the base cotton of her skin tone, to give her some glow. The moon itself is a buttery colored satin, with a layer of pearly white organza on top, and then several layers of tulle on top of that and extending beyond its borders to give it an aura.

Size : 33″w x 33″h
Year : 2007
Price : $2300

 


SURPRISE

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This piece was my first attempt at interpreting a flower with fabric. I thought that the flower would be the hardest part of the piece to complete, but the interlaced fingers were actually much more of a challenge. The rose just kind of came together on its own. I kept the figure intentionally androgynous, which pleases some people, and discomforts others.

Size : 35″w x 21″h
Year : 2006
Price : $1800

 


LILYAN

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This portrait of my friend Lilyan was my first attempt at doing a clothed figure. I wanted to work with Lilyan because she was always dressed with great flair and elegance, even on an average Tuesday. The challenge of depicting the different fabrics and jewelry was a lot of fun to solve. The sequined halter top was the most interesting part for me, because I knew I didn’t want to actually cover that area in sequins, I just wanted to show shimmer and a few sequins and imply the rest.

Size : 36″w x 44″h
Year : 2006
Price : $2700

 


EMBRACE

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When I moved up to Seattle, I heard of the Seattle Erotic Arts festival, and was determined to get in. I did this piece with that show in mind, which was especially disappointing, because it did not get in. The hand in this piece was among the most challenging parts I’ve ever done. I’m sure it took longer than everything else in the whole piece. I almost gave up entirely several times, but ultimately, I was very satisfied with the final version.

Size : 54″w x 38″h
Year : 2005
Price : $1000

 


OTTO

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In this portrait of my partner Bill, I hoped to combine a more formal, classical style of portrait with an honest and personal depiction of the man I love. The framing with gold trim, deep purple background, and head-and-shoulders composition suggest a regal portrait, but the bare chest, off-centeredness, and facial expression convey something far more intimate.

Size : 35″w x 35″h
Year : 2005
Price : $1500

 


HALLIE

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This piece was obviously inspired by the “tondo” portraits of the Italian Renaissance, but also by the model’s beautiful profile. The night I met her, I sat across from her at a large dinner party, and watched her as she conversed through most of the meal with the person seated next to her. Her face and bearing were so elegant and classical, the format of her portrait seemed like a given to me.

Size : 45″ diameter
Year : 2005
Price : $1500

 


MEGAN

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I very much appreciate discovering the many facets to a person’s character, and feel deeply honored when a friend is able to let down her guard, and allow me to see another side of her nature. This portrait captures such a moment. This model is the same one used for “Voluptas”, photographed the same evening, but in a much more vulnerable moment.

Size : 36″w x 58″h
Year : 2005
Price : $1500

 


DANCER

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After a visit to Egypt in the fall of 2001, I became very interested in bellydancing and was determined to do a portrait of a bellydancer one day. I wanted to capture the graceful and sensual movement and the shimmering allure of the dancer. This piece marked my first attempt at using beading, in the necklace and the skirt, in a representational way.

Size : 26″w x 60″h
Year : 2004
Price : SOLD

 


CASSANDRA

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This model was a bellydancer who I met through mutual friends, and we did a photo shoot together and got some great images. This image stood out to me as a stark contrast to the one I used for “Dancer”. Instead of striking a pose, she seemed to be lost in a moment of vulnerability and uncertainty, which lead me to create what feels like a much more personal portrait.

Size : 22″w x 46″h
Year : 2004
Price : SOLD

 


NIGHT

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By this point, I had firmly entered my red phase, and it took me a while to get out of it. I was also doing nudes that felt a little more erotic than simple figure studies. That shift helped get my work into a few galleries, but it’s kept me out of far more.

Size : 35″w x 46″h
Year : 2004
Price : $2000