According to her bio and other reports, Margy drew her first portrait at the age of 4.
She went on to earn a master’s degree in fine art from Claremont Graduate University, where she studied with iconic painters of the time, including Millard Sheets and Phil Dike.
In 1978, she and her husband, Charlie, and two of their three teenage daughters moved aboard a 39-foot sailboat in the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. When her children graduated from high school, Gates and her husband lived for the next 24 years aboard a sailboat near the Whale’s Tail Restaurant in Oxnard.
Margy was a gallerist for more than 35 years. She opened her first gallery in the 1980s in the Marine Emporium Landing on Harbor Boulevard in Oxnard. Later, she moved next to Mrs. Olson’s Coffee Hut on Los Altos Street.
Finally, she opened her Sea Gate Gallery on Ocean Drive in Oxnard. The 10-by-10-foot space, nestled between a real estate office and the Rudder Room bar, was previously a hot dog stand. After 15 years, she closed the gallery in 2015.
Margy was one of the resident artists at BAA’s Harbor Village Gallery & Gifts in 2016 and 2017. Her daughter, Alison, hosted Margy’s shifts at the gallery and maintained her display space while Margy painted at home.