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Margriet Hogue is happy to have found her niche in abstract painting.

Margriet Hogue’s second cycle with art brings rapid success

Margriet Hogue hasn’t been long waiting for success in art.

The abstract mixed media artist picked up a paint brush only about six years ago, she estimates, but has already had her work in numerous galleries and publications.

Hogue’s work has hung in several local galleries (including the Kiwanis gallery) and juried exhibits in the Edmonton area – even as far away as the Federation of Canadian Artists’ main gallery in Vancouver, and California’s O’Hanlon Centre for the Arts.

Recently her work has been accepted into online galleries as well. Connections, a group of 55 international women, just put on its first online show, and she’s had good success with others.

“Most of the time I do manage to get in,” she says.

Creative Quarterly magazine has given her awards, and her abstracts will be in two forthcoming books.

Those are good results for an artist so new on the scene – at least as a painter. Hogue recalls that representational art wasn’t an early calling. In high school she had wanted to apply to the metalsmith program at the Alberta College of Art (now Alberta University of the Arts), but couldn’t meet the portfolio submission requirements.

“You had to submit a drawn portfolio, and I sucked at that,” she laughs.

Instead Hogue turned her intuitive understanding of colour and design to textiles. She studied textile and design at Olds College, and later weaving at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

“I was doing big wall hangings and that type of thing.”

A successful needlework business, The Essamplaire, resulted. She designed antique needlework samplers based on museum examples, then stitched them and built kits for sale. They’re sold wholesale and online. Prior to pandemic restrictions, Hogue still led workshops around North America. However, she doesn’t enjoy needlework anymore.

“I got really quite sick of that,” she laughs, noting that it’s getting hard on her shoulders.

When she tried abstract painting, she found a new niche. She started with lessons from local artists, then Summer Series lessons at Red Deer College, and intensive, five-week courses with international instructors on Vancouver Island. She loves laying on layers of paper and paint to see what happens.

“I can just do whatever I want. I love it.”

Inspired by nature, Hogue used to include transfers of birds and trees, but has “gotten away from that completely.” Now she’s more interested in shapes, contours and especially colours of nature, whether in the mountains, the layered sediment of the badlands, or agricultural land viewed from an airplane.

“The contours of the land really show up.”

Fall colours are her favourite – although during the pandemic lockdown she’s been relying more on the winter wonderland.

“There are a bunch of white ones this year,” she says.

She plans to start incorporating more linen scraps from her needlework and even some scorching with her new woodburning tool.

“I feel it’s important to keep trying new things.”

For more information, visit margriethogue.com, or find her on Facebook and Instagram.

An aerial view of the landscape clearly influenced her work When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth.