As a child, Maria Mikhailas knew she wanted to be an artist. Her first formal training was as a 14-year-old exchange student in Mexico, where she took art classes at the Instituto Cultural Mexicano in Guadalajara, Mexico. Returning to her home town of Santa Barbara, California, during high school Maria took advantage of exploring watercolor with interior designer Jack Baker, as well as classes with other local painters.
She searched in many places for an artistic direction, but it was not until she stepped into the studio of mystic artist Herman Rednick in Taos, New Mexico in 1972 that she knew she had found her direction and her mentor. Maria apprenticed with Rednick from 1972 until 1982. Later in the 1980s, Maria immersed herself in “The Painting Experience,” the process approach of Michelle Cassou and Stewart Cupley. She studied at their Institute of Art and Living for eight years, including completing their three-year teacher training course.
From the 1990s and up to the present, Maria has offered painting workshops on how to balance traditional training and techniques with the process of painting itself, which unlocks the powerful and creative energies of unconscious material. Throughout her life, Maria’s artistic expression has paralleled her spiritual journey, leading her to create images inviting contemplation or meditation. From the time she read Yogananda in her teens and met Rednick—after which she lost interest in product and technique-centered art—Maria sought to express the spiritual dimension in her painting. Her work now displays a dynamic union of traditional and process painting, expressing her inner experiences. Maria’s work is in private collections all over the country.
You can see Maria’s work at the Questa Creative Council’s Studio Arts Tour August 14-15, where she will be selling her paintings, prints, and notecards, at her studio. Her studio is one of the hubs: the Oasis of Lorien, along with several other artists who will display and sell their work. Stop by and chat! Contact Maria at firstname.lastname@example.org; (575) 770-2635 and at northernnewmexicoartists.com or www.maria-mikhailas.com