Hi, I am Maria!
I grew up on a farm in Unionville, Virginia with wonderful parents and the best younger brother and sister in the world. I spent a lot of time with barn cats in the hayloft and reading Nancy Drew mysteries. My mom taught me how to work hard, to believe in adventure, and how to live a rich life on a shoestring. My dad taught me how to nurture all the farm animals, how to warm up and bottle feed a sickly calf by the wood stove, and how to listen with compassion. When I was nine, the extraordinary watercolorist Carolyn Emerson came into my life. She taught me how to paint, and her gift has grown into my entire livelihood. It is unfathomable to think what my life would look like without her.
Throughout the years, I've been a baby-sitter (and I apologize to my brother and sister for the summer I was obsessed with my gym-teacher-quality whistle and making fire-escape plan maps of our house), a newspaper writer, a house-keeper, a waitress, and an English teacher. I've been the person at the animal shelter that power washes all the poop out of the kennels and puts medicated drops in cats' eyes, and an administrative assistant at our wonderful local arts center. I've worked in a bakery and a museum, been a mystery shopper, a painting teacher, and a caretaker for an elderly woman who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on a ship when she was six years old. I have an undergraduate degree in American history, literature and creative writing from the University of Virginia, and a master's degree in creative writing from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Every experience, and every person I have met along the way has been valuable. Outside of Virginia, I have spent time, studied and painted in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy and France. I believe that life is beautiful and full of wonder. I believe that if you dream something, you can manifest it.
My husband and daughter and I live in Orange, Virginia. Our home is made up of a flock of chickens, love, two cats, lots of spiders and bugs and flowers, occasional snakes, our families and friends, a trampoline, and happy pursuit of all kinds of projects!
Thank you for visiting my website!