Maria S.

History

Born in the US, I am the oldest of 10 children.  We lived in the Midwest in 5 different cities until I went to college.  I studied Art for one year before I realized I didn't have enough self confidence to follow through with it and actually pay my rent afterward.  So I changed to Accounting.  Safe and dependable.  After college I got a job in a hotel where I met my swiss husband who was doing an internship.  After a year I decided to drop everything and move to Switzerland (after all, I wasn't really interested in accounting or hotels)  But I did manage to work in Switzerland in a hotel before having 4 children.  I was then a stay at home mom which I enjoyed. Gave me time in between to sew and create which wound up saving my life in so many ways, actually.  It was my best friend in the many lonely moments in a foreign country.  It was the one thing I did for myself.

As my children were growing up I spent more time drawing and painting and found out how much I really love it.  I am still working in the hotel of our family business in the housekeeping department (very exhausting!) in order to "earn my keep"  And I have recently gotten a sweet granddaughter whom I will be babysitting part time when my daughter goes back to work.   So I find I am always fighting the time problem.  Sometimes I have more, sometimes less.  But the one thing I know is that I can't live without my art. 

Process

I have many interests as far a skills go.  I love to draw and paint in my sketchbook.  I love to translate my drawings into textures and textile works.  My main love is usually a dynamic thing.  I often have a painting and a textile work going at the same time.  When one doesn't work out the other may.  And sometimes when I'm stuck a third process (maybe collage, paper, bookbinding) may come into play.  Deadlines for an exhibition motivate me to make decisions and finish up one project or another. 

Content

I basically have two main interests:

I like nature:  being outdoors, walking in the woods, acknowledging the change of season, the color of flowers, leaves and landscape around me and those I see in my travels.  The color and emotion of the seacoast where I spend my summer, the overwhelming size of the mountains with their ever changing faces, the color and texture of rocks, sand, seaweed, and everything underfoot.  I am interested in the play of light in nature, the early morning sunrise, the long deep shadows of fall, the diffused light through fog, brilliant light of sun, dark of night, the moon and stars.  Nature exists around me, grounds me and keeps me safe.

And then there are people:  They are scary and unpredictable, emotions everywhere.  Interactions and relationships can be very rewarding but also very upsetting.  I have been working through the portrait and emotion for the last few years.  I chose this because it is really the more difficult of my two interests and something I feel I need to do.  The circle of life with it's various stages, the many issues women have in society and the problems we all have to deal with are something I feel I need to say.  I have made many works on this topic already and feel I am not really done yet.