I think of my artwork as vibrant and joyous,
a reflection of who I am
and my life in the Caribbean.
Margaret Nock Rodriguez ...
born in Trinidad but chosen to live in sunny Barbados;
a retired Interior Architect;
a creative planner and collector of “treasures”;
a visually impaired artist, who doesn’t “look blind” and
enjoys painting, teaching, travelling
and sipping prosecco at the beach!
“The only thing worse than blindness is having sight but no vision.” Helen Keller
My Artistic Education
I have always been interested in art and architecture. With no formal watercolour tuition, I initially adopted a dry brush technique enhanced with pen doodles. Making the most of every opportunity to participate in workshops, paint with other artists, share ideas and learn from group critiques has been invaluable in my adventure with watercolours. As an Interior Architect, I developed excellent planning skills, knowledge of structures and attention to detail, skills which, together with my creativity, have stood me in good stead for mastering this challenging medium.
My Artistic Journey
Meeting Canadian artist Margaret Roseman was the turning point in my watercolour journey. She taught me the value of using artist quality materials; how to manipulate big brushes with lots of water; what “letting it flow” was all about; negative painting and the importance of light and white paper. Harry Bryden introduced me to the benefits of glazing and Heidi Berger sparked my creative juices, challenging me to experiment with new techniques and encouraging me to paint, paint, paint!
My Artistic Awards and Rewards
I won my first art prize in kindergarten and have been honoured to receive many awards since. Regretfully, I wasn’t diligent in recording these notable achievements. My private commissions, landscapes, florals, quaint chattel houses and detailed renderings of prominent buildings are hanging in private collections worldwide. The satisfaction of completing a painting then having someone admire and choose to display my art on their wall has been the most valuable reward in my art career.
My Artistic Life
I am inspired by what I see, how I feel and the zillions of images and ideas spinning in my head. Having creative time is a luxury in my life. Despite the myth that watercolour is the hardest medium to master, for me, painting with watercolours is pure enjoyment - relaxing and full of surprises. When my paintbrush touches the paper anything can happen. It’s quite exciting learning to accept and even welcome the unexpected.
I retired young due to a degenerative condition, Retinitis Pigmentosa, which has rendered me legally blind. I turned this career-ending condition into an opportunity to travel, enjoying a variety of cultural and artistic adventures. Over the past 10 years, these experiences, combined with my shrinking field of vision, have challenged me to experiment with other mediums including acrylics, mixed media, collage, mosaics and pottery and now to embrace my newest passion - teaching. I really enjoy being part of my students’ “ahhh haaa” moments and seeing their confidence soar as they grasp the intricacies of watercolours.
While my Trini “joie de vie” continues to be reflected in my vivid colours, my recent works reflect a less structured, increasingly abstract impressionistic style. With very few active painting years remaining, I strive to keep the rainbows in my imagination vivid and alive in my artworks.
“ART is not what you see, but what you make others see.”