Maria-Bales-Orange-Hisbiscus-watercolorArt has always been a part of my life.

Even as a child I loved looking at paintings and trying to copy what I saw. Real life, however, gets in the way of ones desires and we often find ourselves busy with life and family and letting our dreams wait for a better time.

Not until I was in my late 50’s did I finally get serious about painting. I studied watercolors with a local teacher and took some art classes at the Junior College. Read lots of books on artists and methods and took online classes and workshops.

As a self-taught artist I give much credit to those who teach, give workshops and write instructional and theory books, without which I would never have achieved my goal of becoming an artist.

Watercolor is my favorite medium. I love the way the colors flow over the paper and how sometimes they suggest things to me that I hadn’t planned but I can develop into interesting shapes and images. These are the most exciting times and when I feel the most creative.

When I work with oils I must have a plan first, then the process of building the layers of color and texture is where I can be creative and still be in control.

With acrylics, which are a new medium for me, I find I can be freer and even whimsical. They can be worked as I do my watercolors or as I do the oils. I find them to be the most versatile of mediums.

I have been a member of Petaluma Arts Association since 1978. I’ve held a position on the board and on many committees, was the Treasurer for 4 years and Chairman of Art in the Park for 3 years. I am currently serving as Vice President of this Organization which is very supportive of local artists, and helps to support art programs in the local schools.