The snow had melted from the dusting a few days ago and the battered concrete of the Baltimore sidewalk had dried from the unseasonable warmth. It was in the 60’s and it felt as though Spring had had enough of the bitter winter and was vying for an early entrance. Laloux's peony had even poked a bud from the soil. Laoux and her good friend Augen sat on the bench waiting for the bus, and although she knew the temperature would not last though the end of the week, she enjoyed it while it was here.
“Are you nervous?” Augen asked. Although he didn’t know what she had done, he knew Laloux had done something against the rules, and the counsel was not pleased. She would have to meet with them this evening.
“No.” The word drifted from her lips with such little conviction that it hardly seemed to even have been uttered.
Augen watched a bird on the opposite side of the street attempt to pry loose a morsel from a small mass fused to the asphalt. A string of cars that had been let loose by the green light, forced the sparrow onto the safety of the sidewalk for a minute, until the coast was clear once more. The bird froze for a moment and took flight. Perhaps the effort was not worth the reward.
“Torkel will hear all the counsel has to say before making a decision.” Laoux heard him, but said nothing. “You can come over for tea afterwards if you would like. I have some Malawi White tea I have been saving. I’d love to share. Perhaps even some walnut liqueur.” Augen knew Laloux had a weakness for a cordial.
“That would be nice.” She said. Again, the words hardly felt genuine. They had been strung together from secondary thoughts. Her mind was far away. She softly smiled at Augen, but the effect only made her seem more pathetic.
Augen’s bus approached and he placed his hand on her shoulder. “Oh, dear. It will be ok. I am here for you.” By the time those words registered for Laloux, Augen was boarding the bus and waving good-bye. “Call me.” He mouthed through the window as the bus pulled away. She was all alone.
She studied the mass the bird had been pecking at and realized it was a rat that had not been as luck as the bird in escaping the unforgiving tires of a car. It was flatter than a pancake. Just the way heliumps like them. Her heliump still had not hatched yet, so she left the rat where it was. She began to separate from her thoughts and pay more attention to her surroundings. A couple was screaming at each other a block away, but that sound was faint. The air felt thick. Like she was being squeezed into a smaller space and there was hardly room for her to be comfortable on that empty bench.
A few dozen cars drove by and the street was silent again. She pulled her purse closer to her. For no reason at all, she did not feel safe. The corner was empty, the steps and windows were clear - no one was around but her, but she felt like she was being watched. She spotted her bus approaching and felt relief. Perhaps she was letting the counsel meeting this evening play with her head. The heliump egg was hers even if they did not approve of the trade she had made to get it. You can’t undo a trade - can you? Her stomach sank and she flattened the fold on her dress and composed herself as the bus pulled up. It felt so comforting to be wearing her dress in January. A small reprieve, but she knew the cold would return. The ice and snow would smother her peony bud that had emerged, but perhaps it would survive once Spring had finally taken over, even though that seemed far away. For now though, it was pleasant out.
Margot King is a self taught artist that grew up in Brooklyn Heights, NYC and studied Chinese Philosophy at a progressive high school. She continued her study of philosophy in college for three years, until dropping out to care for her mother. At the age of 22 Margot lost her mother to suicide which put her on an introspective path alone. Later as an adult King tried to recapture her childhood, which was lost in a home fire, by surrounding herself with toys and animals that had been lost. These lost treasures gave her the creative voice in her paintings. After woking for a some major advertising and marketing agencies in NYC, she moved to Baltimore, Maryland with her boyfriend in the early 1980's. Fueled by a few jobs that put her in "Me Too" situations, she decided to work for herself and opened Retro, a vintage clothing and fantastic oddities store which she later shared ownership with, with her ex-boyfriend. Always driven by her father's mantra "Discipline equals freedom" and his words of encouragement - to pursue what you are passionate about with conviction, Margot reconnected with her artistic drive, and began to paint in a room above Retro on her days off. Long had she studied the detail and paint strokes of the masters like Sargent, Rembrandt, and Whistler at the MMOA while growing up in NYC, she now began to create her own work. King, honed her skills with weekend classes in life drawing and oil painting. She has been going strong since and her work reflects the skills of the masters she studied as well as the joys and sorrows that create the tapestry of life. Sometimes surreal and fantastic and other times solemn, serene, and introspective. Animals have always been an important part of her life and it reflects in her exquisite paintings. It was quite difficult to choose one painting to use for the post, because I love all of her work for different reasons, especially the animals she paints that are dressed and posed like humans. I ended up picking the above painting entitled Witness, because of how it highlights the drama and cycle of life, inside a small corner of a garden, with the oil skill of the masters that she so perfectly executes. A superb example of what she is all about. Margot has lived in Chestertown, MD for 14 years where she paints full time and lives with her husband and four rescued ex-feral cats.
Follow Margot King on Facebook and Instagram, and discover more about her wide range of work and what is available to purchase (at a very accessible price range) on her websites.
Website - Margotkingstudio.com
Purchase - margotkingart.bigcartel.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/margotking.studio
Instagram - www.instagram.com/margot_king_studio
As of October 2016, I intended to use this blog as an accompaniment to my Facebook page and Instagram page. On this blog I post information and updates about my work as well as once a month I highlighted an artist whose work I like (I stopped doing this when I opened my gallery www.GalleryBlueDoor.com). As of March 2017, I began posting a monthly Story Entry with an accompanying illustration of mine. In mid-2019 I took a break from this, but it will resume.