Safe in the Studio: Maggie Taylor

Posted on Mar 26, 2020

While our gallery’s doors are closed temporarily due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Catherine Couturier Gallery is pleased to announce a blog series entitled Safe in the Studio featuring a new gallery artist each week. Our artists will share behind-the-scenes information about specific pieces and offer insight into their artist practice. With each blog post, three works will be highlighted and discounted 20% for one week following the post’s publishing date. 

For our first post in the series, Catherine Couturier Gallery presents exhibiting artist, Maggie Taylor. The following post was written by Maggie Taylor:

Welcome to my office, Maggie Taylor, Catherine Couturier Gallery
Welcome to my office, 2020

Like so many people around the world, I am living at home under the shelter-in-place rules issued by my city and county. I probably have fewer changes to my normal routine because I work from home, and as an artist I usually work in a very quiet and isolated setting. I love my little studio upstairs overlooking the street. Recently, more neighbors are out walking and biking on the street, so I do have a few more distractions. I normally run or walk each morning and do a bit of gardening, then get to work. That is all the same as usual. Lately, I have found that I really want other projects to keep me busy: I have cleaned and organized all the closets already, resealed the granite kitchen counters, weeded the garden, and planted tomatoes. I feel a bit like we are in those elongated Florida summer days leading up to an impending hurricane. 

I will share insight into three images that I completed in the past couple of months. Welcome to my office started as a monkey holding a telephone and a mirror, with some magnolias hovering above. 

Process Image of "Welcome to my office", Maggie Taylor, Catherine Couturier Gallery

Unfinished version of Welcome to my office

As I worked on it, I realized it was a selfie for the monkey….but then if I really wanted to make it a selfie I needed more: a typewriter with paper in it, connected to the phone.  Sort of a makeshift computer.  Images normally take me several weeks to work on, and this was no exception.

I tried many different backgrounds with bits and pieces from paintings I have photographed in museums over the years.  Eventually I settled on this still-life, to which I added some of my own flowers, butterflies, a grasshopper and a beetle.  Maybe in some way this is not only the self-portrait for the monkey, but also for me.  I sit around with my tools (computer, iPhone camera, paper) and every image I make is in some way a self-portrait.  Anyway, welcome to my office.

Half of me is ocean began with two paintings by Lucas Cranach of Adam and Eve, which I photographed in a museum last year on my cell phone camera. They started as two separate images, but one day I put them into the same frame together and then used several other old European painting snippets to piece together a room for their background.

One day not too long ago in the car I happened to hear a cover of a Tom Petty song called “Walls” by the Lumineers.  I loved this song many years ago, and living in Gainesville, I have always been a Petty fan.  There is a line in the song that says, “Half of me is ocean, half of me is sky….., ”and it occurred to me that this man and woman needed to be half/half ocean and sky….which took quite a while to figure out how to achieve.  I don’t really see them as Adam and Eve any more, but more mythological figures related to the natural world.

Half of Me is Ocean, Maggie Taylor, Catherine Couturier Gallery

Half of me is ocean, 2020

Dreaming with open eyes is the newest image, and was not ready in time to go up on the walls of the show.  Remember those magnolias from the monkey image above?  I needed to use them somewhere.  They came from my neighbor’s trees.  So, I have a little group of 3 ceramic pigs who sleep on a table in my living room and have always wanted to included them in an image. 

Process Image of "Dreaming with open eyes", Maggie Taylor

Unfinished version of Dreaming with open eyes

I started with one pig, but after a few weeks of playing with this image I decided two pigs sharing a dream might be more romantic. Maybe it is the shelter in place effect.  But, are they awake or asleep?  Would I need to close their eyes?  Or, keep them open because they are more engaging that way?

As I was working and contemplating a title for this image, I remembered the title of a book I loved a number of years ago Dreaming with Open Eyes: The Shamanic Spirit in Twentieth Century Art and Culture by Michael Tucker. So, the eyes stayed open as they dreamed.

Dreaming with open eyes, Maggie Taylor, Catherine Couturier Gallery

Dreaming with open eyes, 2020 


Maggie Taylor's exhibition Museum Studies is on display at the gallery through May 2, 2020. To learn more about Maggie Taylor and see more of her work, please visit her Artist Page.

The following three pieces are available to purchase with a 20% discount in each size for the next week. The discount will no longer be applicable on orders made after Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 11:59PM.

8 x 8 inches, edition of 15: $1,200 ($1,500)

15 x 15 inches, edition of 15: $2,240 ($2,800)

22 x 22 inches, edition of 10: $3,600 ($4,500)

36 x 36 inches, edition of 9: $6,400 ($8,000)


Welcome to my office, Maggie Taylor, Catherine Couturier Gallery 

Welcome to my office, 2020

Half of Me is Ocean, Maggie Taylor, Catherine Couturier Gallery

Half of me is ocean, 2020

Dreaming with open eyes, Maggie Taylor, Catherine Couturier Gallery

Dreaming with open eyes, 2020

For purchases or further inquiries, email us at

Comments (0)

Add a Comment

Allowed tags: <b><i><br>Add a new comment:

Share this: