MUNTHE ART MONDAY: MARIA M.C
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do
I’m Maria, a fashion design graduate and artist. After working for several years in the fast fashion industry (and after some burnouts), I decided to use my skills as a print designer and start experimenting with drawing and painting. I currently work full time as a painter and illustrator, doing commissions and occasional exhibitions, and selling my prints in my online shop.
I have lived most of my life near the sea, on the ‘Costa Brava’, and although I don’t paint landscapes - I mainly paint still lifes as it allows me to focus on today and be really present and I also find it a fantastic way to appreciate and celebrate our everyday life - my work is indeed influenced by the Mediterranean, by its luminosity and vibrant colours, so you could say that colour and light are fundamental in my work. So is the texture, which allows me to bring that delicate energy to my work, soft enough to not interfere with the dialogue created by the colours, but necessary to align with my personality. My main mediums are oil pastels and acrylic paint. I love the texture and subtle sheen of both.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
I started my career as a painter relatively recently, but I think the most significant aspect so far has been that feeling of not being good enough, not working hard enough, not being interesting enough. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think my male colleagues face other problems, they've never come to ring my doorbell and say "hey, I don't feel powerful enough". My female colleagues have.
Also, I've sometimes been told that my style is too feminine... Well, that's who I am. I can't change the way I approach colour and composition, and I don’t want to change it either.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
Phew, there are too many to name them all, but I have a special attraction to artists who emphasize their work through colour and/or texture, so Elizabeth Power makes me fall in love with her mastery of colour and light, Margaret Cowles creates magnificent still lifes full of colour and verve, Patricia de Norverto has a spectacular way of interpreting nature. Recently, thank to you, I have become completely hooked on the work of Rosa Roberts. Simply wonderful!
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
Fighting EXAGGERATED self-criticism is still my unfinished business. I’m working on trying to feel free enough to give myself permission to make mistakes, to experiment more, to not feel like I must ask permission to do what I do the way I do it.
Of course, there are more mundane aspects such as managing my time to be able to promote my work, create content for social media, contact galleries... And painting, of course! I try to be organized, but my chaotic mind sometimes plays tricks on me.
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
I try to paint reality and the everyday objects that surround us in a luminous and colourful way. I would like whoever sees my work to feel, that beauty and joy can be found everywhere and in everyday objects; in a plate of lentils, in the bottle on the table, in the fruit bowl in the kitchen… and so they feel that their everyday life is fantastic and unique. My style does not pretend to be anything more than a diversion, a way of looking at the world in a more aesthetic, rose-coloured-way.
Each Monday we bring you a fresh interview with a contemporary female artist.
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