"Meet Your Artist" - by Tricia Swenson
Vail Daily dated 12/15/2023
Meet Your Artist: Margo Thomas
Get to know your Vail Valley artists
The Vail Daily is showcasing area artists in a series called “Meet Your Artist” so you can learn more about those who create and what inspires them. If you are an area artist and would like to be featured in the series, email Tricia Swenson (email@example.com).
Q: How long have you lived in the valley and what brought you here?
A: I originally moved to the valley in 1982, then spent several years split between Denver and Vail. Now I’ve been here again full time for the past 11 years. The crisp blue skies and the fresh mountain air brought me here from Detroit, Michigan.
Q: Where did your passion for art come from?
A: I started taking art classes just after 9/11. I suppose that was my way of coping. It turns out I was pretty good at drawing and painting. I discovered how to communicate through art.
Q: Describe your style of art.
A: Lately I’ve been focusing on abstract mountain landscapes, inspired by the mountains right here in our valley. Mediums of choice include oil, alcohol ink and acrylics. Some pieces have been digitized for large scale printing and embellishment to fit taste and room space.
Q: Who are your favorite artists?
A: Of the masters, it would be Pablo Picasso because his works have taught me how to look at subjects through a different lens. One of my art teachers from Denver, Tony Ortega, taught me these key skills: stop before you’re finished; paint using your entire arm; paint what you think you see (not what you actually see).
Q: Tell us about one of your favorite pieces that you’ve worked on.
A: “Fire Mountain” is a piece that was originally an alcohol ink. I transformed it into a high-resolution digital art piece that can be printed on any surface in any size. It won an award at the 2021 Vail Valley Fine Art Show and is one of the first large-scale pieces I’ve sold to private collectors.
Q: Who has helped you along the way? Who/what inspires you?
A: The Art Students League of Denver
Palette and Chisel Academy, Chicago
Vail Valley Art Guild – Melissa Nelson
Eagle Arts and ARTSPaCE – Tara Novak
Alpine Arts Center – Lauren Merrill
My lovely assistant and husband – Greg Thomas
My biggest fan and father – Edgar Williams
My greatest inspiration comes from hiking and camping right here at home. From sunsets in Edwards to standing at the summit of Vail Mountain. There is always a mountain ridge or a stand of trees to admire.
Q: If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
A: Recently, I took on the role of art curator. I managed the entire curation project for the newly renovated Charter at Beaver Creek. The homeowner’s association collection is entirely from local artists and photographers. Several pieces are on display as consignments. This was a tremendous opportunity for local artists thanks to East West Properties and The Charter homeowner’s association.
I will probably continue in an art curation role for local projects. Check out our first Charter Artwalk on Dec 20.
Q: What do you hope people take away from your work?
A: My goal is to communicate harmony through visual experiences. Visual art should always tell a story. Many artists make a social or political statement or go for “shock art” to change norms. That is not my goal. I simply hope to provide joy and calm to all.
Q: Where is your work shown (a local gallery) or how/where can people view it?
A: My work is at the following and you can check out my website: MargoThomas.art
Vail Valley Art Guild – Eagle Gallery
Eagle Arts and ARTSPaCE – various events
Alpine Arts Center
Second Street Tavern (formerly Bonfire) – Eagle