Margie Livingston brings craggy branches into her studio, hangs them from the ceiling, and traps them by building grids of soft string and wood around them. Then, she paints. The results look like quiet, almost sedate geometric abstractions, but are also impressionistic representations of her grid-and-branch sculptures interacting with whatever light hits them and the air in and around them.

Last year, Livingston won Seattle Art Museum's Betty Bowen Award; her work will be on display at the new SAM when it opens in May. This month, she has an exhibition of large, medium, and small paintings at Greg Kucera Gallery. And late last year, she displayed one of her studio sculptures at SOIL, which got me interested in her work in the first place.

In a conversation at the gallery, Livingston talks about her beginnings as a bad expressionist painter, her ongoing love affair with the German romantic Caspar David Friedrich, and her turning point with hair balls.

It's well worth a listen.

Structure (thin violet) (2006) by Margie Livingston

Structure (blue over blue) (2005) by Margie Livingston

Structure (end of summer) (2006) by Margie Livingston