Marilyn MacGregor

Contact Information

Phone: 510-390-1700

Studio & Gallery

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.


Book Arts

Artist's Biography

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.

Artist's 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.

Selected Exhibitions

Marilyn MacGregor, Urban Jungle, Philadelphia, PA 

Marilyn MacGregor: Lines and Places, Old City Publishing, Philadelphia, PA 

Bluestone Fine Art Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

East Passyunk Neighborhood Art Show, Philadelphia, PA

The Art of the Flower, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

East Passyunk Neighborhood Art Show, Philadelphia, PA

Paperworks Invitational, Trenton Art Museum, Trenton, NJ

2011 – 2012
The Decorated Book, The Philadelphia Athenaeum, Philadelphia, PA

Featured Book, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis, MN 

Book, Paper, Scissors, Philadelphia Center for the Book, Free Library, Philadelphia, PA

2nd Floor Front Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Small Oils Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

Something French Art in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

LOVE B Square Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Works on Paper, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

Book, Paper, Scissors, Philadelphia Center for the Book, Free Library, Philadelphia, PA 

837 League Street Group Show, Philadelphia, PA 

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

Crossing the Line, ArtWorks Downtown, San Rafael, CA
Keter Associates, Berkeley, CA
Berkeley Artisans Open Studios, Berkeley, CA
Alvarado Artists at the Rockridge Library, Oakland, CA
Pro Arts Open Studios
Artists/Friends – Dialogues, City College of San Francisco, 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
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, IL
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

Professional Experience

2012 – present

Custom Art Tours,

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

2000 – 2013
Adjunct professor, Pennoni Honors College, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA


ArtSmartTalk Blog

MacGregor, Marilyn, “Heroic Drawing” INDA 6, Manifest Press, 2012 

MacGregor, Marilyn, “The Wonder of Winterthur,” Philadelphia Style Magazine, October 10, 2011

MacGregor, Marilyn, “Drawing as Dance” INDA 4, Manifest Press, 2012 

MacGregor, Marilyn, “Anne Andrée Carron: The Tree of Life,” Ceramics Monthly, June/July/August 2004

MacGregor, Marilyn, “The Art of Mysteries” Mystery Readers’ Journal, Volume 21, No. 1, Spring 2005

Children’s Literature
Fitzgerald, Rick and Marilyn MacGregor (Illustrator), Helen and the Great Quiet, Morrow Junior Books, 1989

MacGregor, Marilyn, On Top, Morrow Junior Books, 1988

MacGregor, Marilyn, Helen the Hungry Bear, Four Winds Press, 1987 

Noel and His Friends, TBW Books

MacGregor, Marilyn, Baby Takes a Trip, Four Winds Press, 1985 

MacGregor, Marilyn, Benny Brown Bear’s Circus, Scholastic, 1983

Golden Gelman, Rita, Susan Kovacs Buxbaum, and Marilyn MacGregor, Boats That Float, Franklin Watts, 1981

Proudfoot, Alice-Boyd and Marilyn MacGregor (Illustrator), The Animals go to the Supermarket, Crane Russak, 1977

Christian, Hans and Marilyn MacGregor, Little Angel Books: The Jumping Contest, Saint Rigobert’s Dinner, The Disappointed Bear, The Angelica Press, 1975