Gulfport artist Margo Christie says she’s been creating art since early childhood.
Her earliest works were pastel drawings based on French artist Paul Gauguin’s South Seas landscapes. So it is no coincidence that her current art is influenced by another type of French art – “Pique Assiette” – using recycled materials such as stained glass, broken cups, dishes and tiles to create mosaics. In English, pique assiette means “thief of plates” or “scrounger.”
“You could say I scrounge up old stuff to make art,” says Christie. “As an art and collectibles dealer in Denver for eight years, I fell in love with delicately hand-painted porcelain teacup and saucer sets.”
To create her colorful wall art, she starts with a hand-painted teacup at the center. From there, Christie builds it out, adding her own touches to the art form by incorporating seashells, glass gems and custom cuts of stained glass to create a beachy splash of color.
Since moving to Gulfport five years ago, Christie has exhibited her work at First Friday events and the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market. A mixed media, stained glass hand-painted window she created for the Best Seat in the House Chair-ity Auction (With a View!) scheduled in March 2021, is currently on display at the Gulfport Public Library.
Most recently she was a guest pop-up artist at Beach House 5317, where an art collector inquired about her work and ended up at Christie’s home studio where she bought the entire inventory of 6X6 mosaics for her home in Tennessee. Christie is scheduled for another pop-up spot at Beach House in January.
Christie also continues to work with pastels, making drawings embellished with bits of colored paper, ribbon and wood. She says she likes to decorate the mats of the pastel drawings to give them a dimensional frame. Combined with the tactile elements added to the drawings, it creates the feeling of a scene viewers can step into. One of her favorites is a drawing of row houses in Baltimore, her hometown, done in a similar style to her Florida imagery. Another is of her sister admiring the bougainvilleas at Pia’s Trattoria in Gulfport.
Christie explains that the pique assiette mosaics draw on her appreciation of both art and collectibles.
“I found a way to utilize the beauty of someone else’s forgotten art – the floral scene on the porcelain – to create wall art that is frilly and whimsical at the same time.”
Find more at margochristie.wordpress.com.