By Judy Wenig-Horswell
Emerita Professor of Art
Goshen College, Indiana
Maureen’s fine paintings have evolved through independent study and personal tragedy. While her European mother was a painter, there was no room or encouragement for her to pursue this area at home. Only much later while painting with her ill son, David, and then with an exploration of art therapy as a means to deal with his death, did she begin to paint and develop the foundation of the work she does today.
She describes her art therapy work as ‘an explosion of color’ and color definitely remains a dominant element in her work. Her series of calla lily studies from 2000 show some of these early explorations. She had her first exhibit in 2001 and has had continued success showing and selling her work.
The displacement of her parents after WWII was also a significant influence in her choice of forms as she has searched for her placement in time and space. The internal world of emotions and the external of the natural world, images suggesting flying away, windows, and bones are recurrent themes in her mostly abstract work.
A maze of lines, the layering or overlap of lines/colors, transparency/translucency, actual openings or cuts in the surface of a work are some of her formal tools. Mylar with drawn or painted forms are sometimes sewn or riveted onto an underlying painted or drawn surface. She uses watercolor, gouache, acrylic, oil, resin/shellac, and earth pigments plus other materials in various combinations to achieve her visual goals.
Her formal instruction includes evening classes at the Art Institute of Chicago and independent work with Alain Gavin in his studio in Evanston. Maureen stressed the importance of a good teacher and her exposure to other artists’ work. Study of artists, especially Burri, Braque, Kandinsky and for her latest paintings, Gorky, is vital to her artistic development.
Response to Solo Show
Center on Halsted
That was an impressive, Great show!
As a whole that exhibition of abstract paintings embodied unity, harmony, a stately rhythm and joy! How'd you do that, Maureen? One of life's wonders!
Cliff House, Chicago, Illinois