Margaret Sonnemann immigrated to Australia from the US in 1983 with her husband and small daughter. She has experienced the broad sweep of Australian lifestyles, in the Melbourne suburbs, on a sheep station in central west NSW, by the beach on the Sunshine Coast, and finally in a convict-built house in Tasmania’s Midlands, restored over the course of 20 years.

I began painting seriously quite late, around age 50, part of my new-found joy in life after a 15 year battle with a debilitating illness.  

After initially working with landscapes, I started painting portraits of local people in our tiny Midlands town.  The first portrait I painted was of Punch, an old man who lived in a small house without electricity or plumbing.  It was hung in the local pub, very close to where he sat every night.

I love to focus on faces of Tasmanians whose ancestors have lived on the land for generations.  As a migrant based in rural Tasmania, I have a perspective which sits between that of an outsider and that of a local – perhaps paralleling the dance that a portraitist must do to combine human detail with breadth of cultural vision. I am interested in exploring environmental optimism and the re-emergence of beautiful, accessible art over elitism.

I’ve always been fascinated with faces, manners and cultural minutiae and I found delight in making tangible the strengths, weaknesses and history written on the face of a subject. Portrait and genre painting have increased my understanding of and joy in the beauty and diversity of every individual.


  • home-educated her daughter,
  • founded a theatre company in Tasmania (1997-2000); among her productions were “The Secret Garden” (1999) “Big River” (2000) both at Hobart’s Theatre Royal,
  • curates/exhibits her collection of 80+ antique American and Amish quilts,
  • serves on the Tasmanian Home Education Advisory Council (THEAC), and
  • is a busy oils portraitist.
  • Her first book, “The Aurora Chaser’s Handbook” available December 2013.
  • She is illustrating a children’s book and
  • has three beloved granddaughters who keep her busy.

Margaret Sonnemann is the third generation of oil artists named Margaret Reynolds, hence

Campbell Town Festival of the Arts 2002, 2003
Not Yet Famous Exhibition, Long Gallery, Salamanca Place, Hobart (2003)
Island Art Prize Exhibition (10 Days on the Island, Stanley, 2003)
Material Girl: 2003, Women Tasmania’s International Women’s Day Exhibition. Her drawing “My Daughter’s Place” was selected to be part of the Tas Regional Arts state-wide touring exhibition. Winner, “Premier’s Choice” Award for “Self Portrait, M” 2014
– did not paint 2004 to 2009 –
Magnolia Café (Heritage Art Group, November 2009)
Meadowbank Estate Winery (Heritage Art Group, Jan/Feb 2010)
Watermark Huon Art Exhibition Group, Cygnet (March 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
Art and Soul, Calvin College, Kingston (September 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
Royal Hobart Show (October 2010, 2011, 2012)
Campbell Town Show (June 2011) Highly Commended Certificate for “Tunbridge Sheep Sale”
“Long to Look” sold at International Arts Movement Christmas Art Extravaganza, NYC, New York (December 2011)
Art in the Valley, Focus on Franklin (March 2012, 2013)
Hobart City Mission Optomeyes Charity Art Exhibition, Long Gallery (Oct/Nov 2011, 2012; Winner, “People’s Choice” Award 2013)
The Lions Club of Kingborough’s Inaugural Art and prize Exhibition, Kingston Beach (May 2013, 2014)
Heart of Art Exhibition, Emmanuel (May 2013)
Hobart Rotary Art Show, Wrest Point Casino (August 2013)


2 Responses to “About”

  1. Robert Says:

    Great stuff . . . reading The Aurtora Chaser’s Handbook, now.

    I have only seen the Aurora while flying, near North Pole, i.e. Europe, Canada, Alaska. Once in California, near Salinas, 1981 or 1982, a very red sky. I swore I was seeing things or chronically fatigued. It scared the hell out of me. I flew immediately back to base. Not prone to being scared whilst flying, but that was a bit much for me, the first time.

    My website

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