Maria Gullberg-McCadden was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania and raised in Montgomery and Lancaster Counties. Creativity in all its forms was the norm in her family of artists, singers, and musicians, and Maria’s creativity was always encouraged. While the obvious influences of her father (an architect) and grandfather (a self-described “Sunday Painter”) helped form her love of art and painting, Maria’s mother remains her greatest supporter.
Attending Catholic schools, Maria often received Art Awards throughout her early education, and she credits her high school art teacher, Richard Ressel, with instilling in her a deeper appreciation for the arts. While attending Moore College of Art from 1981-83, Maria was exposed to the exciting and vibrant Philadelphia art world. Working as an assistant at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s library helped to ignite her passion for education and art history. With a shift in career focus, Maria transferred to Millersville University to study Art History where she earned her BA in Art.
In 1993 Maria moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida with her two small children and started teaching art at St. Anastasia School in Ft. Pierce. After 22 years of teaching she followed her heart’s passion for helping people on the margins and traveled to New Mexico to serve as a missionary teacher at St. Francis School, a missionary school that serves the Jicarilla Apache Nation and surrounding community. Now back in Florida, semi-retired from nearly 25 years of teaching art, Maria has returned full circle to her first and best gift: Painting! Maria works mostly in oil paints and watercolors, but will often work in other mediums such as acrylics and charcoal as her subject directs. Her many experiences and interests uniquely inform her mission, which is to remind people, through her landscape and nature paintings, of the joy and wonder that is abundantly present in all of creation.
I enjoy working with a wide variety of art materials and mediums, but I paint my landscape and nature scenes in oils and watercolors. My oil paintings are on both stretched canvas and primed wood panels. Watercolor paintings are done on 140 lb. cold-press watercolor paper.
Although most of my paintings are created in my studio, many are begun en plein-air. It's the little details that I see and try to highlight in my paintings. Traditional oil painting and dry-brush watercolor techniques help me to achieve realism in my paintings.
I'm on a mission to counter the negativity and violence we see in our world by instead highlighting the beauty, wonder, and awe that is found in nature.
My paintings and drawings shine a light on the positive and often overlooked details of our amazing planet. I'd like to help you and your loved ones cherish your shared memories in nature by creating artwork that reminds you of the joy you experienced together in nature.
Contact me to schedule time to discuss your idea for a commission or to visit my studio to select work from my collections.
I have always been inspired by nature. An avid gardener, when not in my studio I can be found outside in my vegetable garden. The colors and textures found there often inspire my smaller watercolor works on paper.
Although I can easily find inspiration just outside my back door, I do enjoy hiking around Florida and other places in the US. I've always done a little plein-air painting throughout my life, but in recent years I've made it a regular part of my creative process. During hikes I'll take lots of pictures of all the beauty I experience. One or two pieces may be created on site, but the images captured on my camera become my inspiration for future studio works.
Currently my focus is on a series of paintings of Florida's Mangroves. Human behavior has put the Mangrove Forests at risk here in Florida and around the world. Hopefully my paintings will inspire others to take action to help protect and restore this important ecosystem. They are a vital part of the Florida landscape, and truly full of wonder and beauty!
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