Margaret Petterson

about margaret petterson


I'm an intuitive painter. My brush moves in bursts...I follow these sparks of inspiration and let them guide me. So, yes, there is a bit of planning involved, a brief underdrawing or a couple of rough sketches...but I find that the most magical aspect of the artistic process is that problem-solving that happens when you're in the thick of it all.
-- Margaret Petterson

Apparently, this has worked very well indeed for Margaret Petterson, Lowcountry Painter and resident Charleston artist. Her intuitive approach to art has brought her national and international recognition for her oil paintings, watercolors and mixed-media monotypes. The artist has appeared on national television, her paintings have been displayed in embassies in both Jordan and Australia and locally she is proud to be an active leader in Charleston's growing art community.

Originally from Loris, South Carolina, Margaret moved to Charleston at the age of eight. Growing up in the lowcountry meant being surrounded by the beauty of the marshes, oak-shaded roads, and historic architecture of the Southern city. "I've always been an artistic person," she says, "but it wasn't until well into my twenties that I began taking it more seriously. I took a watercolor class at the Gibbes Studio of Art, and attended several workshops with local notables...and it seemed as if my artistic career just fell into place.

From the beginning, the artist has been drawn to colorful, lively palettes that play on the shadows and light of Charleston's natural and built surroundings. Says Margaret, "Nature is bursting with color, and one of my goals is to share that with others..."

Watercolors remained the prevalent paint of choice until around ten years ago. Today you'll see oils on canvas, as well as the ink-and-watercolor monotypes.

"Typically we have a rule not to buy more than one work per artist, but Margaret's paintings have evolved so much that we now have something in every medium she's worked in: watercolor, monotype and oils...Beside the fact that we love the large scale of a lot of her work, her use of color is so striking and she continues to develop that as the years go by..."
--Dennis and Mae Tavernetti, Traveler's Rest, SC

An artist whose training includes studies at Charleston Southern University, multiple workshops locally and nationally, as well as printmaking studies with Patrick Aubert in Florence, Italy, Margaret is one of Charleston's most lauded artists.  Awards include first place in the Springfest ‘92 exhibit in Charlotte, N.C. and inclusion in the competitive Winterpark Arts Festival, and the Festival of the Masters at Disney in Florida. She was selected as Artist of the Year for the 5th Annual Film Festival Worldfest-Charleston.  "Margaret Petterson’s vibrant renderings of the Lowcountry scene shows a masterful integration of light and form revealing an artist who continually challenges herself to express her delightful visions," said Hunter Todd, Worldfest-Charleston’s director.

Margaret's work has also appeared in several publications including the a book titled, Watercolor for the Serious Beginner (Watson-Guptill Publications, N.Y.: 1997), the cover of Charleston Place Magazine, and the Cooper River Bridge Run poster, as well as feature articles in American Art Collector, Art Galleries and Artists of the South, and Southern Living magazines.Two of her works were also selected by the U.S. Ambassador to Australia to be shown in Canberra and Ammon, Jordan.

Corporate collections include the Federal Reserve Bank, Charlotte, N.C.; NationsBank, Charleston, S.C. and Charlotte, N.C.; BellSouth, Charleston, S.C.; Springs Mills, Inc., Fort Mill, S.C.; Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C.; Rapid Granulator, Inc., Goose Creek, S.C., Fiberweb, Greenville, S.C.; ADT Security Offices, Rochester, N.Y. and Omaha, N.E. Her paintings can be found in private collections in Europe, the Caribbean, Canada, Australia, and the United States.

Today, Margaret can usually be found painting in her oil studio or working in her new print studio in the Petterson's country home.