Maggie Taylor is an artist who lives at the edge of a small swamp on the outskirts of Gainesville, Florida. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1961, and moved to Florida
at the age of 11. Her childhood was spent watching countless hours of situation comedies and science fiction on television; later she received a philosophy degree from
Yale University. A little later she got a master's degree in photography from the University of Florida.
Since 1997 all of my images have been created with the use of computers, flatbed scanners, and small digital cameras. I see the scanner as a type of light-sensitive device which is not much different than a digital camera. My initial digital explorations actually led me to use the scanner in place of the digital camera because of cost and expediency. But in the long run, I have been visually enchanted by the strange, glowing images that I am able to capture with these scanned slices of time. In addition to the small objects that appeared in my earlier photographs, I also have begun to include many 19th-century photographs. Scans of daguerreotypes and tintypes which I find on the internet and in antique shops have become my cast of characters and have helped to shape my sense of pictorial space.
I usually begin working with either an old photograph or a small object that I find intriguing. After a simple scan and some retouching, I start to play with a variety of options for the image. I hardly ever begin with a well-defined idea of what I want the finished image to contain. Sometimes an object from one image does not fit and I try it in another image and voila! It helps me to be working on a small group of 3-4 images around the same time. Keeping an open mind and retaining all the layers in the image,
I can recombine and alter the content, color, and feel of an image over and over again until I am happy with it. Many times I use a small camera to quickly capture a cloud, a swath of grass, or a larger object. Running back inside to my computer, I can isolate the element and add it to my composition.
I make all of my own inkjet prints in my studio. Viewing the image on the screen, with all of its color and vibrancy, is very seductive. Then comes the task of trying to get the print to match as closely as possible. After a few weeks (well, sometimes a month or two...) I make a test print of the image on my Epson inkjet printer. This print usually looks terrible and requires more work, both on the color and the content. I go through quite a lot of paper making final adjustments, moving a hand here or there, adding a string or shadow, changing the contrast of a cloud, and so on.