Devon LivingIssue #07

Vibrant artwork

We explore Maggie Davies’ stunning artwork, from cityscapes to representations of the natural world.

Maggie Davies is best known for her vibrant use of colour; whether it’s in her cityscapes or representations of the natural world, her artwork incorporates a bold use of colour and shapes that stand out against the canvas. Here at Devon Living we particularly love her ‘Autumn Hare’ depiction, which sees a cantering hare boldly leap across the canvas in striking yellow and to a backdrop of deep autumnal oranges and reds. Growing up in the Worcestershire countryside, experiencing city life in Birmingham, and now living on the north Devon coast, Maggie has always enjoyed an intense relationship with her environment, and this is very much revealed in her artwork.

My paintings are a reflection of what I see, what I remember, what I feel and what I imagine.”

In 2014 Maggie established Portland Art Gallery and Open Studio in Ilfracombe, just minutes from the picturesque harbour, which itself provides an on-going source of inspiration to her work. This informal and welcoming gallery provides Maggie with a studio space and an excellent gallery area in which to exhibit some of her own work alongside a carefully selected group of local artists. It also provides a great venue for creative workshops, talks and art based social events, and a central information point for the now well-established Ilfracombe Art Trail, held in May each year and involving over 50 artists in 30 venues, and attracting over 400 people who follow the town based trail.

Maggie has enjoyed successful exhibitions of her work in the UK since 2005, and more recently has been very well received in the USA, with paintings from the series entitled ‘Adventures in the City’ about which Maggie tells us: “Cities fascinate me. I relish the tricks that light, perspective, colour and construction play upon our senses.” And it’s this skewed perspective that Maggie captures within her artwork, for example in ‘City Lights’ Maggie’s use of colour suggests a cityscape viewed in darkness or low light; when the blurry form of buildings are synthetically lit with electric light, casting a murky haze of orange light pollution into the sky.

In complete contrast to her paintings on canvas, Maggie is currently working on illustrations for a children’s book by Worcestershire based author Margaret Gardner called The Badgers of Briarwood. The story carries an important message for children simply told, and the engaging and colourful book will be available towards the end of the year. Maggie’s highly individual style is instantly recognisable within the book and she particularly enjoys the challenge of commission work, where a client has very specific subject matter in mind but wants her unique approach to its representation. Maggie explains: “My paintings are a reflection of what I see, what I remember, what I feel and what I imagine.” Maggie has a free-spirited approach to painting, where colours and shapes dance across the canvas in an imaginative waltz across the page and into the artist’s mind. So, if you want to view Maggie’s paintings in person then make sure to visit the gallery and studio in Ilfracombe where you’ll be assured of a warm welcome.

"My paintings are a reflection of what I see, what I remember, what I feel and what I imagine."