Margie Crisp has traveled the length of Texas’ Colorado River; which rises in Dawson County, south of Lubbock, and flows 860 miles southeast across the state to its mouth on the Gulf of Mexico at Matagorda Bay. She lives and works near Elgin, Texas, and is both a writer and artist whose lithographs, hand-colored linocuts, drawings, and paintings are in private and public collections throughout Texas, the United States, and Mexico. She is a former writer in residence at the Thinking Like a Mountain Foundation in Fort Davis, Texas.
TAMUP: What or who inspired your paintings?
MC: The art work in my book River of Contrasts: The Texas Colorado are all original prints: linocuts and lithographs. This sounds confusing at first but by original prints, I mean traditional hand-pulled prints (not giclee or offset commercial printing). Another reason for creating prints is that I wanted to reference the rich tradition of natural history printmaking. From Napoleon's expedition to Egypt to John James Audubon's lithographs and engravings, artists and scientists have created prints that not only contained important details about habitat and life history, but also were stunningly beautiful works of art at the same time. While I can't predict how people will react to my art, I am satisfied that I created a portrait of the Colorado River, in both word and image, that can be referred back to--whatever the future holds for the river.
TAMUP: What are you looking forward to most about having your art featured at the Texas Book Festival?
MC: Honestly the greatest pleasure I've had as the 2012 Texas Book Festival artist has been the attention it has brought to my book and to TAMUP. The talent, support, and enthusiasm of the Press and the River Series (supported by the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University) made the book possible. Second to that, is that it has given me additional opportunities to talk to the public about the Colorado River of Texas and its future.