I am inspired by living in Vermont and learning about the local natural environment. I find the historical relationship between the natural world and people fascinating. Learning about the traditional medicinal qualities of the plants in our landscape as well as their place in folklore motivates me to look into all of the new plants I meet.
The paintings I make explore this relationship between the landscape and people. My work represents my own yearning for a connection with the land as well as a desire to understand our ancestors’ spiritual and cultural connection with nature.
My imagery includes plant mandalas, portraits of roadside weeds, and local landscapes. In all of my work, plants (usually wildflowers) are the main focus, with text and photos referring to the history of the land and folklore of the plants often hidden in the shadows.
- Margaret Shipman, August 2022
Bio: Margaret Shipman is a magna cum laude graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with BAs in both Cultural Anthropology (1998) and Studio Art (2004). Her early working life connected anthropology and art, working at The Crafts Center in Washington D.C. and USDA Rural Development in Wisconsin in projects with the goal of linking indigenous artists with markets for their work. For the last eighteen years she has worked and volunteered for arts organizations in Southern Vermont, recently stepping back to devote herself full time to making art.
She lives in a 200 year old farmhouse with her husband, son, and various pets. The house is surrounded by wildflowers, woods, gardens, and beehives and nestled in the beautiful Vermont landscape.
Brattleboro Reformer, September 2020, Adding Something Different, Kris Radder
Vermont Winter Vacation Guide 2017, Love Where You Live
The Commons, February 24, 2016, Drawing a Crowd, Richard Henke
The Commons, February 10, 2016, Shipman Paintings on Display at Amy's
Southern Vermont Art & Living, Winter 2013 - 2014, The Art/Life Balance, Arlene Distler
photo by Kris Radder of the Brattleboro Reformer.