About Marguerite Beck-Rex

I’m a feminist writer and artist with a penchant for all things French, living in Washington DC. My love of language led me, indirectly, to my pleasure in gardening, drawing and watercolor.

It began with a book, a collection of New Yorker garden columns by Katherine White, wife of its founding editor E.B.White. Her enthusiastic appraisal of the literary merit of various garden catalogs led me to collect and keep her favorites as well as to hoard with them some more recently-emerged seed, bulb and seed catalogs. The beautiful catalogs inspired me to little by little turn our entire front lawn (our home had a wooded ravine close behind) into a garden. That grew into a lovely site with two simple arches, a gliding bench on a little sitting patio and modest slate paths winding through beds of shade lovers and whatever plants supposedly in need of full sun that I could manage to coax into colorful healthy bloom.

A curiosity about color and color theory emerged as I became keenly interested in impressionist painters; that interest merged in some way with my urge to garden. I acquired more than one book about Monet’s garden and gardens of other impressionist painters, both French and American.

One day I picked up a magazine for painters, and found inside an article about a painter I’d known. Among examples of her splendid watercolor paintings was her watercolor of her garden at that time. Suddenly I could think of nothing more exciting than painting my garden. I enrolled in her watercolor class in The Art League in Alexandria, VA.

The influence that the collection of Katherine White’s columns about the literary merits of certain garden catalogs has had on my life has come full now. Ink, Paint & Words combines what has become an obsession with drawing and watercolor with my passion for language. Yes, I still garden. A table full of blooming potted plants sits on my apartment patio, backed by an ivy covered fence with park trees behind. My patio, and my larger environment of Washington DC, together provides wonderful vistas for drawing and painting.

For a number of years annual trips to France gave me and my companions extravagantly colorful panoramas and charming tableaux for brush and pen. And yes, now I’ve painted in Monet’s gardens several times. But that, as they say, is another story.



10 Responses to About Marguerite Beck-Rex

  1. Karen Lyon says:

    Marguerite — Your blog is so beautiful and moving that it may change my mind about blogs forever. On the other hand, I can’t imagine there would every be another with the depth and artistry of yours. Thank you for sharing your gift. I know I’m an egregiously neglegent correspondant, but I do think of you often and fondly–especially your generous encouragement of my writing (and our evening sharing Beaujolais at La Brasserie!). With all best wishes, Karen

  2. Larry Green says:

    I was transported to the Champs Elysees while viewing your artwork. Then you reminded me that I have all that, and more, in my own Washington, DC. Every entry is lovely and soothing.

    Sincerely, Larry Green

  3. I love your painting of the Stargazer Bloom. It is magnificent. I wish I were a better painter. Thank you for stopping by and giving me a follow! I truly appreciate it.

  4. Love your sketches and writings…. Reminds me of something that one would see in Le Monde or The New Yorker perhaps. Some of us just play, while others play with that envious grace and style throughout time….Guess it’s time for the Torpedo Factory for me….doubtful, but maybe I can acquire some of it….a teeny tiny bit maybe..

    • Yes, yes, yes, the torpedo factory! Do it. I’ve looked at work you’ve posted. You should do it.

      And thank you for the compliments. I wish I could think of some publication at a lower level than New Yorker or Le Monde. My very favorite illustrator/cartoonist is Sempe’. Have you seen his New Yorker covers?

      • Yes…That is it..Your work reminds me of Sempe. Paris Match…not Le Monde…Torpedo Factory…I have thought about it for many years…but never made the time. A friend is taking the workshop on Velasquez to Sorolla painting right now and is enjoying the workshop. I just found a beginner oil painting class there for October…just may make the early morning drive…should have done it when I was living only 10 minutes away…oh well..

  5. violetski says:

    Hi !
    Love your drawing style and colours. Really beautiful !
    Looking forward to see more your works!

  6. Rosary Lalik says:

    Marguerite, I feel so awed by your artistry. Your use of pen stroke and color amaze and delight me. Thank you for sharing your talent as well as your enthusiasm for the arts.
    Rosary Lalik

  7. Jan Anderson says:

    I always LOVE getting your blog. Your words and pictures continually
    remind us of the beauty and fun in the quotidian.
    Jan Anderson

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