Recently I stumbled upon Beautiful Losers on my Netflix (streaming…FYI) and was reminded how much I love Margaret Kilgallen! Using Folk Art, Letterpress, Bookbinding and Printmaking as her inspiration, this San Francisco Bay artist created beautiful lettering, and strong female figures using softly bold color palettes.
Appreciating the handmade, Kilgallen’s aesthetic reflects this; she states in the PBS series ART:21 "things that are handmade. I like to see people's hand in the world, anywhere in the world; it doesn't matter to me where it is.
Growing up in a small town in Maryland Kilgallen was exposed to folk traditions like quilting and banjo playing. When she moved out west taking up residence in San Francisco she found the city’s hand painted signs inspiring. As a struggling artist she turned to the “oops paint” (the poorly mixed paint at hardware stores no one wants) and drew inspiration from the most commonly used inks for letterpress red, black and sometimes blue, thus creating her color palate.
Kilgallen was born in Washington, DC. She received her BFA in printmaking from Colorado College in 1989 and her MFA from Stanford University in 2001. Kilgallen gave birth to her only child Asha on June 7, 2001, received her MFA from Stanford June 17, 2001 and on June 26, 2001 Kilgallen passed away from breast cancer. Right up to the very end Kilgallen was a strong influential woman.
Kilgallen is an inspiration and her work continues to be prolific.
Heres to hoping you have an inspired Wednesday and remember to always support your local craftspeople!