Introducing Artist No. 64 – Maude Anne May

I think what I love most about Maude May is how many different mediums she uses to create her art, and yet is able to bring it together into a cohesive, recognizable whole. She mixes photography, stitching, painting, fabric, wax, and more photography together in her creations so you feel you must touch a piece to actually know what process she has used. As she says “Creating is what gets me going. Curiosity keeps me on the path and assists me in arriving at my final destination which isn’t always where I thought I’d end up. The push/pull “randomness” vs. “structure” of art making and graphic design continues to challenge me and draws me into the studio daily.”

Lately, she’s captivated by the shape of houses, what she calls ‘kid houses’ – the simple house we first learn to draw as children. She collects houses, photographs houses, draws houses, uses them in her encaustic pieces, and makes stitched art works with houses. She’s been thinking a lot about the idea of home – what is home; the safety of home, when people have to leave their homes; tiny houses.

Maude has been making art in one form or another since age three, “when I began drawing bones on the playroom walls – much to my parents’ dismay. Stitching pre-printed samplers, fabricating elaborate collaged drawings and designing tiny dresses for my troll dolls soon followed. With advanced degrees in ceramics, photography and textiles, my passions have led me in many directions and my career has encompassed a wide variety of professions: pastry chef, art director, location scout, miniature golf course designer, event coordinator, photo stylist and paint-color consultant.

“Until 2014 I was the sole proprietor of Spark Art & Design, my graphic design business in Seattle – creating custom invitations and favors and designing logos and related collateral for both corporations and private individuals – winning industry awards with this work. After 12 years, I closed this business and moved with my husband Bob, to Portland.”

A pivotal experience for Maude happened when she worked as an Art Director for a large public relations firm in Washington, DC. “Until this job I had always assumed that I would need to be very proficient in many mediums in order to make a living as an artist. I soon realized that this was not the case. I hired and worked with many nationally known artists – illustrators, calligraphers and photographers – all masters in their chosen field. Through this experience I learned more about artistic passion and choice and it enabled me to winnow down my options and follow my own paths.

“I work in both fiber and paper collage. Books, along with collections of papers, ribbons, stacks of ink-jet, printed IPhone photos and other ephemera clutter my small studio. Hand and machine stitching are integral elements in many pieces and my extensive cache of cotton embroidery floss and two sewing machines are always at the ready. In 2014 I began working with hot beeswax and Demar resin, incorporating photographs, collage, pan pastels and oil paint. These encaustics not only function as stand-alone works but can also be photographed and then transferred to either paper or fabric and incorporated into new pieces. By using these encaustic images as a starting point, I am coming full circle and combining all my favorite mediums and techniques.”

If you visit Maude’s studio on the tour (and I highly recommend that), this is what you can expect: “Everyone who visits my studio (aka dining room) will be able to make their own encaustic collage. To me, simply demonstrating my process isn’t as impactful as giving visitors the opportunity to work with wax and experience the joys (and sometime frustrations) of this age old medium. By making a small work my visitors not only get to create but also appreciate the time, effort and skill needed to make art on a daily basis.”

Introducing Artist No. 91 – Amanda Triplett

Amanda Triplett was always intuitively creative growing up. “I learned needle craft from my mother and I grew up doing a lot of theater and dance. I was notorious for making creative messes and spending my math class doodling in my notebook. When I got to college, I took my first real art class and fell deeply in love with painting and studio time. Sculpture followed after that.  Creating art is what feeds my soul. It’s also something that is innate within me. I’ve always done it. I’m happiest when I’m making work and I can’t help myself from doing it.”

I asked Amanda what inspired her work and she replied

“I think Nature is my greatest inspiration: biology, trees, the cosmos and the beautiful, unspeakable thing that binds it all together.”

Right now she’s working on larger scale, fiber installations. “I’m expanding into doing more installations of sculptural fiber. I really enjoy creating more immersive art experiences. I’m also working on some tiny pieces for my Specimen series. I like working on both macro and micro. Working tiny allows me to develop techniques and work with details. Working with large scale installation allows me to create a full, juicy experience for viewers.”

If you visit her on the tour, you can expect a range of different projects. “I will have my tiny Specimen series displayed. They are small, circular pieces, with lots of juicy details, embroidery, lace and beading. They are affordably priced and are excellent entry points into collecting my work. I also will have a larger installation downstairs in our spare room where you will be able to experience some of my larger scale work.”

Amanda shares her time right now between taking care of her family and making art.  “Right now I balance being a stay at home mom with making art. My hope is to expand my art business so that when both my kids are in elementary school I can continue to do art full time.”

Introducing Artist No. 12, Winifred Martinson

Winifred Martinson is also new to the tour this year.  She describes herself as “California born and bred”.  Unbelievably she only began learning the techniques of making art as an adult.  “I paint realistically what I think is beautiful in nature, in an atmospheric and ethereal style.  In the 1980s I learned from workshops with Zoltan Szabo in Los Angeles, from Life Drawing courses at Pasadena City College, but mostly I am self-taught.  “Mr. Szabo’s work still inspires me.  His subtle color choices and impressionistic style have a strong influence on my work.  When I teach, my students for the most part learn from those techniques. His advice to limit the number of colors used is basic to my style.

“I usually paint indoors, from a sketch or photo of a subject that somehow resonates with me.  I often paint animals or birds, beginning with the eyes.  If I can’t love the effect of the eyes, the painting will be abandoned.”

A pivotal point in her artistic career occurred in 2001 when she moved to McMinnville. “I was encouraged by the Hidden Treasures Gallery, The Currents Gallery and The Pacific Frame and Gallery to go public with my large privately held body of work.”

If you visit her on the tour you’ll be able to watch her working on a current project.  She also plans to have a children’s station