hen Mackie was three she was asked if she was going to be an artist when she grew up. "I already am an artist," she said. It wasn't long before she learned that by drawing on her art skills she could express what she wanted to say without using words. Then one day, when she was grown up and living on the island of Crete and was completely out of oil paints and canvases and faced a 13-hour boat trip to Athens to buy more, she began writing in her sketch books and even got a typewriter. Much later, after she'd raised two sons and created many fantasy works in fabric collage, and life had settled down a bit, she took up using words again just for fun, and to see if she could write something that resembled a book. Now she's amazed that she did, and thrilled to announce that her first novel, Lifting the Sky has been released by Bloomsbury, USA.
The Short Bio
ackie d'Arge is an artist who lives on a ranch on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. At the moment she's torn between art and writing, and hoping that one day she'll figure out how to combine the two.
The Long Bio
ackie lived a gypsy-like life overseas until she got to Wyoming at the age of 34 and settled down to raise her two sons on a windblown, rundown ranch on the snowy side of a mountain. If she'd known what she was in for, she might've settled someplace where it was easier to survive.
When she first came to this part of the world, Mackie had known nothing about ranching. The words heifer and steer were not part of her vocabulary. Cow, bull, and horse were words used for far distant objects, not something up close and personal.
Mackie learned the hard way that you can't park your horse in the middle of a gate when several hundred cows are headed that way. She did eventually learn how to work cattle, and even got pretty good at it. One thing she seemed to have an aptitude for from the start was irrigating. Her ranch had territorial and first water rights, but since the place had been more or less deserted for about 20 years, neighboring ranchers had gotten used to taking her water. She got real good at fighting water wars. After all, she had two sons to raise, and without water you couldn't grow pasture for cattle.
Sometimes, when the snow got so high that the road would be closed for a month at a time, the boys would be stranded in town while Mackie was marooned on the ranch. She talked to the trees and an antelope friend and would look out across the snowy fields for some sign of human life. Along with the applique tapestries that she put her heart and soul into creating, it was the wild beauty of the place that kept her going. Not to mention the help and love of a handsome deputy-sheriff-rancher who had a ranch on the far side of the mountain....
Mackie was born in Panama City, Panama. On her 9th birthday her father, a civil engineer who built things like airports and runways and roads, got a job in Turkey. It was such a great place to grow up that Mackie could've stayed there forever, but when she turned 13 they moved to Greece. She loved it there, too, but in a few years they moved on to Morocco, and then Italy. Lucky girl. Mackie studied dress design in Lausanne, Switzerland, and then went on to study Fine Arts in Florence. She'd been put into her third year when she ran off to Paris, where she'd always dreamed she would study. After three years in Paris she began her own personal quest that led first to a village in southern France. It took her on through the islands to Crete, where she found a house on a hill with no electricity, dirt floors, and no water. She lived there for a year and a half. She eventually went on to Sri Lanka, and to Volcano, Hawaii, where she married and had her first son. The family left for India where they lived for a year, and then Mackie divorced and moved back to southern France. She raised her son there till the age of four. When she then came to the states, he didn't speak one word of English.
Mackie now lives on a ranch way back in the hills on the Wind River Reservation. A creek runs through it, as well as antelope, moose, deer, elk, bears, coyotes, and the occasional wolf. Mackie's two sons are now grown. One is a Life-Flight pilot in Casper, while the younger builds the snowboard park and mountain bike trails at Teton Village. She recently married her rancher-partner and is now living happily ever after.