Marilyn MacGregor


Book Arts

Contact Information

Philadelphia, PA 19106
tel: 510-390-1700
e-mail: Marilyn MacGregor
Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.

Artist Statement

My work begins and ends with drawing, no matter the medium, surface or technique. For me drawing a kind of dance in which each step opens up new possibilities and allows the ordinary to be seen in a new way. Philadelphia: Famous Sites and Favorite Places is my tribute to my adopted City of Philadelphia. Each scene begins with an on-site drawing done with pen in my sketchbook. The choice of sites is a combination of appeal to my eye and a broader interest in places that are meaningful to and beloved of Philadelphians. The loose, sketchy, spontaneous freedom of my line is the result of many years of drawing life as I find it around me, especially in my travels and in various places where I’ve lived, including Paris, California and New York. For the Philadelphia scenes and for my International Series featuring cities and places around the world I scan drawings done on site in my sketchbooks and compose the final work with digital painting, allowing the line to remain central and free within a colorful graphic design. My International Series, from the hundreds of travel sketchbooks I’ve accumulated over a life of living and traveling in interesting places, is created with the same technique: a base of spontaneous, on-site line drawing on paper with colorful digital painting. “International’ means anything and everything beyond Philadelphia, including London, Paris, and New York City. I do other subjects as they present themselves, always with a base of line. My tribe of Dogs & Cats, inspired especially by my 2 furry rescue cats, is a jolly group of whimsical creatures, intended to amuse and bring a smile.

Artist Bio

Drawing is the heart of who I am: I have always drawn, even when the act of drawing didn’t always show above the surface of my professional life. I draw because I love to, I draw in order to understand myself and the world around me, and I draw to share what I know and value with others. My sketchbooks number in the 100’s, brimming with my life and travel, friends, family, events, places, weather, food, thoughts, ideas, loneliness, happiness, curiosity – and more. My Philadelphia series, Famous Sites & Favorite Places, comes from my sketchbooks. When I moved here in 2009 and began exploring my new home my sketchbooks came with me; I’m still drawing and discovering what a wonderful town Philly is. My travel sketchbooks, past and present, are a rich source for my International Series: my scenes of places like Paris, New York and London are not necessarily tourist office views, but often reflect my ventures into interesting corners and neighborhoods. I am an art historian and long time teacher so my drawings and finished designs are a form of sharing; they complement my ArtSmartTravel tours – small group arts tours to interesting places. I have a whimsical sense of drawing and design that served me well as a published children’s book author and illustrator; it comes across in my architectural scenes and is very present in my fun series of Cats & Dogs, a goofy tribe inspired by my two oversized, rather goofy rescue cats.

Selected Exhibitions


East Passyunk Neighborhood Art Show, Philadelphia, PA


Urban Jungle – solo exhibition Old City Publishing, Philadelphia The Art of the Flower, Philadelphia Sketch Club East Passyunk Neighborhood Art Show


Paperworks Invitational, Trenton Art Museum, Trenton NJ


The Decorated Book, Bluestone Fine Art Gallery, Philadelphia, PA


Featured Book, Minnesota Center for Book Arts Book, Paper, Scissors, Philadelphia Center for the Book, Free Library 2nd Floor Front Gallery Philadelphia, PA

Small Oils Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

Something French City Hall Art Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

LOVE Invitational Show, B Square Gallery Philadelphia, PA

Works on Paper, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA


‘Book, Paper, Scissors’ Philadelphia Center for the Book, Free Library 837 League Street Group Show Insect Invitational – B Square Gallery Philadelphia, PA

The Art of the Flower – Philadelphia Sketch Club Philadelphia, PA Works on Paper 2010 – Philadelphia Sketch Club Philadelphia, PA

Previous Crossing the Line – ArtWorks Downtown San Rafael, CA Keter Associates – Berkeley, CA

Berkeley Artisans Open Studios, Berkeley, CA

A Community of Art – Alvarado Artists at the Rockridge Library Pro Arts Open Studios Berkeley Artisans Open Studios ‘Artists/Friends – Dialogues” City College of San Francisco Solo Show Rockridge Library Oakland, CA Alvarado Artists at Giorgio Gallery Berkeley, CA ‘

Strong Ties, Diverse Connections’ Downtown Art Center San Rafael, CA

Alvarado Artists Founding Exhibition, Berkeley, CA

Faculty Exhibition Bentley School , Lafayette, CA Banaker Gallery San Francisco CA

Fine Woodworking Sausalito, CA

Marin County Civic Center San Rafael CA Fairfax Public Library Fairfax CA

Meyerovich Gallery San Francisco CA Saint John the Divine – New York, NY Saint Peter’s Church – New York, NY Saint Edwards School – Oxford, England

The Leys School – Cambridge, England

New Art Forms Banaker Gallery at the Navy Pier Chicago Faculty Exhibition College of Marin Kentfield CA

Year of the American Craft Syntex Corporation Palo Alto CA Inspired by Nature California Contemporary Crafts Council Corte Madera CA

Animals and Us Artisans Gallery Mill Valley CA

In the Landscape Claudia Chapline Gallery Stinson Beach CA

California Design Baulines Craft Guild San Francisco CA

Small Works California Museum of Art Santa Rosa CA Artists from the Erika Meyerovich Gallery Governor’s Office San Francisco CA

The Erika Meyerovich Gallery San Francisco, CA


2008 – 2009
Berkeley Artisans Open Studios, Berkeley, CA

Pro Arts Open Studios, Oakland, CA

Professional Experience

2010 – present
Adjunct professor, Pennoni Honors College, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Children’s Literature

2009 – present
Contributor, Broad Street Review, Philadelphia, PA

Lecture Series, ArtSmartTalk, Berkeley, CA

Chair, Visual Arts, Studio Art and Art History, Independent Secondary Schools Northern California

Children’s Book Writing, Writer/Artist in residence, Charlotte’s Web Children’s Bookstore, San Francisco, CA

Children’s Writing and Illustration, College of Marin, Kentfield, CA

Honors and Awards

2010 Winner Art History Blog of the Year for ArtSmartTalk blog, presented by Online PHD Programs

Published Work

ArtSmartTalk Blog – awards for excellence in writing about art and culture

INDA 6 Drawing Annual ‘Heroic Drawing’ 2012 (juried essay)

Philadelphia Style Magazine ‘The Wonder of Winterthur’ feature article Nov 2011

Broad Street Review, Philadelphia – regular contributions

INDA 4 Drawing Annual ‘Drawing as Dance’ 2010 (juried essay)

Philadelphia Inquirer – travel article

Ceramics Monthly “Anne Andrée Carron: The Tree of Life”

Mystery Readers’ Journal “The Art in Mysteries”

Children’s Literature

Helen and the Great Quiet Morrow Junior Books

On Top William Morrow

Helen the Hungry Bear Four Winds

Noel and His Friends TBW Books

Baby Takes a Trip Four Winds

Benny Brown Bear’s Circus Scholastic

Boats That Float Franklin Watts

The Animals go to the Supermarket Crane Russak

Little Angel Books The Angelica Press


Children’s Book Illustrations

Helen and the Great Quiet, Morrow Junior Books

On Top, William Morrow

Helen the Hungry Bear, Four Winds Press

Noel and His Friends, TBW Books

Baby Takes a Trip, Four Winds Press

Benny Brown Bear’s Circus, Scholastic

Boats That Float, Franklin Watts

The Animals go to the Supermarket, Crane Russak

Little Angel Books, The Angelica Press



Images copyright © Marilyn MacGregor

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