About the Artist and her Artwork

Margaret Kennard Johnson

Materials and processes inspire and guide my work. They provide the means for forming imagery and composition. They vitalize and characterize my visual expressions, whether with handmade paper, intaglio/relief printmaking, or other mediums.

Sometimes I go into my studio and just start manipulating materials. An idea may grow out of exploring different ways paper can speak. It is exciting to find new ways to visualize an idea, whether with foil, mesh, carborundum, or modeling paste, or with viscosities and colors of inks.

An ongoing challenge for me in printmaking is finding ways the paper can serve in active dialogue with the ink rather than in mere passive support for the ink.

Exploring and mining from the rich resources of intaglio and relief printmaking techniques is ever intriguing. The development of each work becomes a new adventure demanding its own assortment of known and, often, invented processes. The struggle is to find the combinations that work. The joy comes at the end of the trail when the work does seem to express something of what I am trying to say.

One’s work surely reflects one’s life experiences, whether overtly or subliminally. My Egyptian Series directly responds to the awesome experience of visiting Karnak in Egypt. My reverence for integrity of composition was certainly enhanced by exposure to Josef Albers philosophies at Black Mountain College years ago. And the striving for simplicity and subtlety in my work continues to be fortified by the many years of absorbing the culture while living in Japan.

Johnson portfolio

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