A native of Holland, Michigan, Margo Vanderhill graduated from Hope College with an art major and went on to teach in several Michigan schools before moving to Orange City, Iowa. She taught at several schools in the Orange City, Iowa area, including Northwestern College as an adjunct. She has regularly exhibited in Holland, Michigan and Orange City. Her art is in private and public collections in Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and elsewhere. Currently Vanderhill makes art in her home studio in Alton, Iowa. Prairie reconstruction and fair trade retailing are other major interests.
Margo Vanderhill’s peaceful, yet moody night scenes include dramatic deep shadows with intensely lit leaves, streets, and walkways. The oil pastel drawings are mysterious while at the same time inviting exploration by the viewer to discover what is around the next tree and corner. The rich, black pigmented paper she uses creates a dramatic foil for the application of thick, bright strokes of oil pastel.
The quiet calm of warmly lit windows in Margo’s night scenes wrestles with the unease of deeply shadowed, empty streets. The domestic indoor coziness contrasts with the undefined space of the mysterious exterior. Her bright, dramatic color and light counterbalances the mysterious darks to create oil pastel drawings that continue to intrigue the viewer.