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Margot Cueto
Learning To Be Still and Receive

38.5 ” x 50.5 “


Yves-Olivier Mandereau
Ceramic Artist

Artist Statement
“I am an architect,  born in Argentina,  who loves design. I have experience trying to understand how light, shape space, volume,  and surface in drawing. I find charcoal allows me to deepen shades of of gray and create a chiaroscuro effect. As l softly touch the paper,  l am try to capture this light from live models in natural scenes.

In this particular drawing,  l am expressing the quietness needed to learn to receive.  The solo vase is a metaphor of openness and stillness, spiritual qualities that help with receiving. I found black and white photography so helpful for this search too. I have also enjoyed watercolors as well , since the fluidity of the paint helps me dwell on changing emotions and movement of the psyche. Again, movement being crucial towards creating a lively reality of architecture.

I have worked with children in my art studio allowing them to play on the movement of light with chalk, watercolor, acrylic paint, colored pencils, and even with clay. I’ve been blessed with the recognition of how close all artistic endeavors are, how they open my eyes and mind, and enlighten my creative process.”

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Video Transcript

“I really appreciate the atmosphere that you’re able to achieve with all the grays, and the texture of everything. I think it really immerses the viewer into this room. Two things that I think that you can improve on is that one, don’t be shy of extremes- extreme white and extreme black. Really experiment how you can use those two opposites to really emphasize different forms for instance, the drapery on the table, etc.

The second thing that I would ask for you to consider is the space above the table in the background, I guess? That space is a little ill-defined, and I know that it, you know, I’m guessing that you wanted the focus to be on the pot, but without anything defined behind it, I’m focused too much on that a negative space wondering what’s going on. But overall great piece.”

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4 responses on "Margot Cueto"

  1. I am so fascinated by the double exposure effect you’re creating. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it constructed through an analogue medium like charcoal. I almost don’t care about the space itself because I’m so immersed in the abstract and dreamy qualities you’ve achieved through your sensitive touch with the charcoal.

    There’s an artist I follow on Instagram, Eric Carter, who uses multiple exposures and layering in photography to create ethereal, soft abstractions. I think you would get a lot out of his work.

    Also, while Marilyn Minter is a much more concrete and representational painter, she composites photo references together to create her hyper real and sensual paintings.

    More food for thought while you continue to sculpt this imagery. This drawing makes me want to see your watercolors too!

  2. You’ve done an excellent job of making the drapery feel so concrete and substantial, there’s definitely a lively sense of movement there the way that you are handling the charcoal. The very subtle shifts of grey tones throughout the drapery are lovely and subtle!

    I would recommend really trying to emphasize the sense of light in your drawing; right now it’s unclear what direction the lighting is coming from, and in general the drawing feels too grey. A large part of this is in how you set up the still life, make sure the next time you set up a still life to draw that you take the initiative to light it was well!

    We have a Drawing in Color: Still Life video course which has a short video that explains how to light a still life that you might find helpful! (it’s video #10 when you visit the course page!)

  3. Wow! This piece is so ghostly and I get a really strong sense of loneliness and mystery in it. I think part of this comes from the translucent qualities I see emerging in some of the materials.

    I could see this becoming the first piece in a series about this vase. I’d love to see you explore various compositions that could further develop how you express these themes you’re exploring. “Receiving” is really interesting, and perhaps you would want to draw out attention to the the open mouth of the vase to articulate that? There are so many possibilities!

    Great work!

  4. Even though this is a very simple still-life, I find this piece highly engaging and very mysterious. Your particular choice of vase is so interesting because its peculiar shape mimics the folds in the drapery beneath it, making the drawing a compelling study of light and form.

    For the most part, I think you have an excellent grasp on shadow and a great value range, but the piece is a little dark and could benefit from a few more bright highlights – on the vase, especially. I would also say that your set-up is a little sparse for us to clearly read the intent you describe in your aArtist statement, and you might need to add another object into the composition to clue us in to the larger metaphor you’re trying to convey.

    Your drawing technique is strong enough to capture our interest, however, and I think the general tone and atmosphere you were aiming for does come across very effectively!

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