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Maria Hathaway Spencer — Artist of Emotion and Life .

I specialize in colored pencil and watercolor but also enjoy working with oils and acrylics.

My work is vibrant with color and emotion. I love doing portraits and am passionate about the portrayal of emotion and life experience through my work. My portraits show who we are as humans. They explore the passion, the sadness, the fear, and hope that make us who we are. So many beautiful people walk among us, entirely unnoticed or forgotten. I bring attention to the invisible, the lonely, the joyful, and the heroic. I exhibit the beauty that exists in each of us.

I am fascinated by the natural world around me. Nature is art in and of itself and I love to try to capture the beauty that it resonates in my landscape paintings. Each little rock, tree, plant has a story to tell. Everything around us is full of life and has had experiences that we can’t even imagine.

When I create a piece using Prismacolor I use a very labor intensive layering technique. I start with a basic sketch of what I’m going to draw. Then I begin adding layer after layer of color, blending and shading as I go. I often add the darkest shadows early on and slowly work my way toward highlights of light using a white pencil in the end.

If a large area of one color is required, such as blue for a clear blue sky, I often use a turpenoid wash in order to achieve a smooth solid color without excessive effort. When I do a landscape painting I use a mixture of Prismacolor pencils and watercolor paint to achieve the look I desire.

My art is an ever changing process of growth and improvement. It is liquid. Nothing is permanent and every time I create a piece I learn something new and develop new methods and techniques. I am open to anything as long as the end result is vibrant in color and full of detail.

I often feel as though my paintings paint themselves. A character or subject in a painting has something to say and I am merely an instrument through which it is enabled to exist and therefore speak.

I am influenced by the world that I observe around me. I am fascinated by life itself which I consider to be the greatest work of art that has ever and will ever be achieved. I can only hope to dimly reflect the beauty of creation. I believe however that humanity has divine potential, unending and unfathomable. We have only as yet scratched the surface of that which we can and will become.

I am most content when I am with my family. I am influenced greatly by their unique and caring personalities. I have seen through them what it is to be truly good, and happy. I see the importance of love and truth and I share this perspective through my art.

I have more to say on my blog. Check it out!

  • Joined: April 2009