Exhibition of the Month
Marguerite Jill Dye
I am an artist, illustrator, writer, poet, teacher, and Pen Woman in Arts and Letters. I am inspired by my love of life, nature, Florida and Vermont, Europe and China. I can easily trace my joie de vivre to my mother, Marguerite Dye, renowned for her wit, personality, books, and humorous poetry. She was also a teacher, pianist, and Pen Women member in Music and Letters. Her mother was a poet, painter, and teacher who grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
I credit my love of nature to Dad who followed his dream to build a ski lodge in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Exploring the mountain wilderness as a child gave me a deep connection with the natural world. I am inspired and filled with joy by the beauty of the earth which I continue to celebrate through my art and writing.
My affinity for plein air painting, in the tradition of the French Impressionists, stems from years of study in Monaco and Paris and my love affair with the South of France. Its magical beauty and light, charming villages, and French landscapes provide infinite inspiration. I love to re-trace my college-day explorations and paint on location in the footsteps of masters.
I strive to capture what I see and feel by combining plein air inspiration with spontaneous, lifelike brush strokes of traditional Chinese painting. Lively lines suggest the wind’s movement; flickering sunlight and dancing shadows become playful color and light; transparent glazes in harmonious hues evoke serenity. The spirit of place and artist determine the mood of the painting: active and exciting or meditative and peaceful. As student and teacher of traditional Chinese brush, I try to paint with a pure heart. It is believed that the qualities of the artist transcend from heart to hand to work of art. My work is in public, private, and corporate collections in the U.S. and abroad, and I illustrated a children’s book, “Where is Sam,” with colorful papercuts.
I share observations, interests, and concerns through writing published in various forms: three years of weekly columns in “The Mountain Times,” numerous articles and poems, and poems and chapters in collaborative books. My years of studies, travels, and work across the U.S., Europe, Argentina, and China, instilled in me a passion for the people, their cultures, customs, and languages. I have worked and advocated for human rights, the poor, homeless, and oppressed in Argentina and the U.S. with the Board of Global Ministries and local groups.
My husband, Duane Finger, and I met in the Chinese Embassy on the 30th anniversary of National Day. An embassy delegation attended our wedding. Our theme was “to serve the people.” As the founder/director of Friendship Through the Arts, a cultural exchange program, I led delegations of American artists and writers to China through the US-China Peoples Friendship Association. My husband and I have also organized and led nine friendship delegations to China, initiated sister-city and sister-state relationships, and represented the U.S. at the International Friendship Forum in Chongqing. I served as a delegate to the 1995 United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing and the NGO Forum. We are active in USCPFA Sarasota to further friendship and understanding with China and serve on the Ringling Museum of Art Community Outreach Committee.
A miraculous healing of an “incurable, untreatable condition of the spine” enabled me to follow my dream to walk the Camino de Santiago. My husband and I set off across Spain on the Camino Francés (twice) and Camino del Norte. I painted and sketched along the Way and was inspired to write a book of the experience. Treasures Along the Camino: An Artist’s Empowering Journey Across Spain includes 100 plein air images and is soon to be published. Plein air painting is a healing art.
I enjoy sharing my passions in Creative, Spiritual, Healing Retreats in our Dream Lodge in the heart of Vermont.