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Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Margaret Trent is the daughter of an Archaeological Illustrator. She graduated with a B.Sc. Hons. in Biological Sciences from Napier University in Edinburgh. She moved to Seattle, in the US, in 1992.
Margaret has taken classes in botanical drawing and watercolour at the studio of Kathleen McKeehen and attended workshops with Gaynor Dickeson, Susan Rubin and Catherine Watters. In 2008 she became a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists and is on the Board of her local ASBA chapter, the Pacific Northwest Botanical Artists (PNBA). She is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators (Northwest Chapter) and the Colored Pencil Society of America. In addition, she is a long-distance member of the Scottish Society of Botanical Artists.
Margaret regularly exhibits with the PNBA at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library in Seattle. She has exhibited her work at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island (where she lives), the Pacific Science Center, and the Washington State Convention Center. She has regular solo exhibits at Plum on Bainbridge Island. In 2017/18 she completed a series of three drawings commissioned by the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden located in Federal Way, Washington. In 2020 her work Rhododendron cinnabarinum was accepted into the Florilegium at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland.
Botanical art offers a way to combine my love of nature, a desire for detail and a hankering to create. Although my first botanical drawings were completed in high school, quite a few years went by before I was able to pursue botanical art more seriously.
I started with graphite, then watercolour, before adding coloured pencil. Now I work almost exclusively with coloured pencil on drafting film. I love the fine detail I can obtain and the soft buttery look that drafting film imparts.
I’ve discovered perfection in the intense blue of Himalayan Poppies, the intricate arrangement of petals in a Chrysanthemum and the graceful curves of a Tree Peony bloom. But I like to incorporate nature’s imperfections as well: the yellowed edge on a leaf, a little hole made by an insect, mushrooms on decomposing wood. While my focus is primarily on botanical subjects, I also enjoy painting birds.