Maria is a painter and collage artist. Her work focuses on the creative process and in understanding and exploring the powerful way in which color and shape evoke memories and emotions. Maria’s work is highly influenced by constant observation of the world around them. Her hope is to create work that conveys a feeling of joy.
Maria’s love of color comes from growing up in Bogota, Colombia, a country with an enormous wealth of color, nature, and culture. There she studied Art and Industrial Design at Universidad de Los Andes. She completed her art degree at Hollins University in 2003 and has been painting professionally since then. Maria lives in Roanoke, Virginia with her husband, two boys, and a spoiled rotten gsp dog. She works from a home studio filled with color, walls that used to be white, half started paintings and cut paper everywhere!
Q: How did you become interested in art?
A: I have been interested in art my whole life. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t doodling, painting or cutting pieces of paper. Its just innate and part of who I am. I always took lessons growing up, majored in art in collage, started my own mural and decorative painting business during my senior year and after I had kids, I switched from walls to canvases!
Q: What's the inspiration behind the piece Abbey selected for the collaboration?
A: I love that Abbey mixed a couple of my pieces to create the pattern for the collection. The pieces she choose were inspired by nature and the bounty of color we gather during spring and summer.
Q: If your artwork had a soundtrack, what would it be?
A: It would probably be a very diverse mix of genres because that’s what I listen to while I am creating . From indie and country to reggaeton, salsa and bossa-nova! All over the place!
Q: What’s your favorite color combination?
A: So many! Magenta and orange, magenta and turquoise , magenta and chartreuse.... I love bright colors and my palette always have turquoise, teal, magenta, navy, orange and a bright green. When people request a painting without pink tones, I have to put the tube of magenta on a different room as I always gravitate to it.
Q: What’s your medium and artistic process?
A: I paint in acrylics and also do collage using paper I have painted. I usually have a general idea about the work but I make decisions as I go. I am not much of a planner and I enjoy letting the process guide me in life and art making.
Q: Is there a famous artist that inspires you?
A: So many, I love studying the impressionist and feel inspired by Matisse, cezanne, Sorolla, Gauguin. I also look up to women abstract expressionists, Helen frankenthaler and Joan Mitchel. I am always in awe of their mark making and I strive to achieve more of the looseness and freedom of their work on my own.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I am working on several landscapes commissions and my upcoming collection for well and wonder releasing on May 5th. Also, I am putting the finishing touches on my line of textiles and wall coverings, a passion project I am very excited about. It will hopefully be launching soon!
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: I don’t like to look to far into the future but I hope to always be painting and enjoying my family. I have lots of goals and dreams but mainly, I hope people continues to connect and find joy in the work I create.
Q: Do you think collaboration is important and if so, why?
A: I feel collaboration is an essential for growth. Working with others expands your ideas and challenges you to think in different ways. Its very soul filling to see collaborations grow and come together.
Q: What inspires your work in general?
A: Nature, color and interior design. I also love being able to help my clients capture their memories.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Vibrant and joyful.
Q: How has your artwork influenced your relationship with fashion or vice versa?
A: I think both fashion and art are about creating a feeling. Both art and fashion use color, pattern, construction and texture to appeal to the senses and create connections.
Q: What do you put on when you need some inspiration or a mood booster and why?
A: I would say high heels. There’s just something about feeling a bit taller that makes me walk with a little more confidence, it’s probably because I am barely 5 feet tall
Q: How has Well+Wonder helped you cultivate your career?
A: Well and wonder has been an amazing asset to expanding and strengthening my career. It has allowed me to create a larger community of supportive collectors and has also introduced me to a beautiful group of artist that inspire me greatly. Mollie and her team are the best cheerleaders and I love seeing their vision grow. I feel so fortunate to be part of well & wonder.
Q: What do you love most about living in the South?
A: I love how warm people are, their love to preserve and embrace traditions and the importance people give to details and little things that make all the difference. I often receive hand written notes from collectors about how much they love their paintings and it makes me so happy! I also thinks spring in the south it’s the most inspiring gift!