PT: You’re our Artist for March/April at Questa Library. Tell me about your artwork.
EW: I have several styles ranging from representational to abstract. My unique painting style is integrating the five basic shapes of Sacred Geometry (spiral, square, straight line, triangle, and circle) into images. “It’s YOUR turn to deliver,” says the stork about the baby elephant in my Sacred Geometry painting shown here.
Another series is called MAGIC WORDS – see it ‘n say it. According to neuroscientists Newberg and Waldon in their book, “Words Can Change Your Brain,” if you change your words, you can change your brain and your life. I embed affirmations (Magic Words) into images, e.g. I’M LOVED. I’M BLESSED. I’M HAPPY. I’M GRATEFUL. Shown below is I’M POWERFUL. When I see those affirmations on my wall, I say them and that lifts me up.
My third series is paintings of my cow Elsie, who is a life-size fiberglass cow near the end of the driveway. I put Elsie in various human situations, such as giving her boyfriend, who is a pig, a motorcycle ride.
PT: Your name is Ellen Wood. Why do you sign your paintings Maruška?
EW: I decided to use Ellen Wood for my writing, my legal name is Eleanor Wood, named after Eleanor Roosevelt, and to use Maruška for my paintings to honor my father; it was his middle name.
PT: You’re an author as well as a columnist for Questa Del Rio News, The Taos News, The Enchanted Circle News and Law of Attraction Magazine. What do you write about?
EW: In my books, I write about how to grow younger, based on a program of Mind/Body/Spirit practices that succeeded beyond my wildest dreams to reverse my early symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. I have the Alzheimer’s gene, APO-e4. For my columns, I write about everything and anything that I think people might want to read.
PT: How long have you been painting?
EW: After COVID-19 put my vacation rental properties in Taos out of business, I found myself with extra time to do what I want. And what I wanted to do was paint! An old fear of not being good enough almost stopped me but I pushed through that, bought some supplies, and started in at age 84 in November 2020. What a blast! My soul was thrilled, and I painted every dog in our family plus a good friend’s cat and gave those paintings away. Then I began selling them.
PT: Where do you sell your paintings?
EW: At the Questa Studio Art Tours, to friends and relatives including a stepdaughter in Australia (the postage was sky high!) And I have Madonna and Child and Holy Family paintings in the Benedictine Monks Gift Shop on Kit Carson Road in Taos.
PT: Have you studied art?
EW: No, but my daughter Harper has and she’s an excellent artist. Before I sign my name on a painting, she critiques it for me. My friend Mark taught me how to use gold leaf in my paintings.
PT: Will there be a preview party at the Questa Library for your artwork?
EW: Yes, on March 4 from 2 to 5 pm. I hope people will come – it’s my first solo show.
PT: Anything else?
EW: For some unknown reason, my muse insists I put at least one heart in each painting. I’ve noticed that people get a kick out of searching for the hearts.