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Thank you for visiting this site!

My watercolors and the creations that come from them are the sum total of the infinite inspiration of nature + the love and support I have been more than lucky to have been surrounded by in this life: My parents and the way they raised me on a farm, disciplined me, sparked my creativity and continue to nurture me along with my extended family and in-laws; my friends and the way they have encouraged me and kept me laughing through thick and thin; my husband Clayton who knows and esteems my inner-most heart; the two little sprites we call our children who continue to teach me how to let go, burn down, rise again from the ashes and have faith in the process of life and all its wild and sometimes heartbreaking beauty and brevity; and everyone who has encouraged me to keep painting and supported the business.

 

When I was 9, the painter Carolyn Emerson came into my life, and she gave the incredible gift of watercolor lessons until I was 18. Her instruction makes up the bulk of my art training. When I was a teenager, the painter Lee Nixon also inspired me and helped me to explore other mediums and pushed me to develop better drawing skills. 

Formally, I have an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master's degree from Trinity College, Dublin.  Away from home in Orange, Virginia, I have painted and spent time in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy and France.

I began painting with the specific aim of creating fabrics and home decor items - art that would be tactile and useful in the home - while spending a couple months in Italy in 2009. In 2012, with the help of lots of family and friends, we cleaned and filled the barn on our farm like a showroom with kitchen and bed linens and upholstered furniture with my designs on them in order to test the waters and see if anyone would be interested. Almost everything sold in a weekend, and my next goal was to open a store, which I did on the first day of spring in 2014. I closed the shop in the Fall of 2019, about one week before my little boy was born because although I was able to keep things going with one baby, I knew I wouldn't be able to juggle two... and in fact I didn't want to feel like I was juggling... I wanted to be fully present.  So I closed the shop hoping another door would open at the right time and feeling excited about where it might lead.    

 

Like lots of people, I feel that life has become destructively frantic, distracted, and removed from the essence and rules of nature. I use this feeling as a measuring stick for why and how I want to make and do things. First I paint whatever speaks to my spirit, and then reproduce the paintings in the U.S.A. with the least possible strain on our environment. I hope to make things that help people feel calm and in harmony with their hearts.

For years I sewed every product on my great-great grandmother Emma's machine (now I frequently use a more modern machine and occasionally hire out sewing); I use my great-grandmother Nancy's typewriter for quotes on note cards, and I iron on my great-grandmother Gladys' ironing board. I like using these old tools and feeling connected to my grandmothers in the creation process. My husband and I print, cut and fold all of the note cards ourselves in our home.  I believe quality always trumps quantity and speed, and hope to be connected to the things I make and the people who choose to buy them. 

Thank you again for visiting, and please write with any thoughts or questions!

Sincerely,

Maria 

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photo by Dawn Lamb