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Maggie May, not just a Rod Stewart Song

May is upon us, and you know what that means? Another local artist showcased in Silver Screen Salon for First Friday! Maggie Stubbs is a kindergarten teacher by day, and a fabulously talented contemporary artist by night…or at least on this night at her First Friday showing.

Stubbs’ art work in a word is COLORFUL! Each piece is alive with color and has a very whimsical, happy feel to them.

No stranger to the art world, Stubbs has previously shown work at Final Fridays in Lawrence and at the Fringe Festival last year. This July, she will once again be showing for Fringe Festival at Union Station. However, you still have time to come out to Silver Screen Salon to see her work throughout the month of May.

After the show, I had a chance to catch up with Maggie for a little Q and A session:

What is your artistic background and how long have you been painting?
“I have been encouraged to create art my entire life by both of my artistic parents. In high school, I was part of an art program that allowed me to take more art classes than usually allowed. We also had a teacher with a doctorate in art, and I took art for 5 hours a day my senior year. I usually would stay after school for several hours and I would do one or two paintings every day. The school bought all of the supplies, so I could create as much as I wanted. I went to art school at the University of Kansas for one year, but found that it did not live up to my high school experience. I decided to pursue art separately and earn a teaching degree because I also love teaching children.”

Where do you draw your artistic inspiration?
“I find inspiration from traveling when I am able to. Seeing art in person is great inspiration. Art, even art that we have seen a million times referenced in pop culture, looks different in person. It looks more fabulous in person. Viewing art is a great inspiration.
My art is happy and I find daily inspiration from my kindergarten class. The classroom atmosphere and craziness shows through in my paintings.
I also gain inspiration from Ted talks. I enjoy listening to ted talks while I paint. I love documentaries too. I constantly crave learning new things. That shot of awe you get when something really inspires you can drive me to paint new imaginative things for days. I think its the challenge of adapting when something is not as it seemed that causes brain neurons to connect and fire the most. Even little things, like learning why ketchup is both a liquid and a solid, or what beer is made out of, keep my brain working and ready to paint.”

What made you start painting or first piqued your interest?
“My art teacher in high school required me to try painting and demanded that I would adapt to the brush vs. the pencil. My dad agreed and encouraged this.”

Who or what has influenced your work/who do you admire?
“I love Wayne Thiebaud's art. He is the master of color! I love color. I also love how crazy and colorful Lisa Frank's art is. I learned to draw by attempting to replicate Degas' sketches of ballerinas. I also learned to draw by drawing photos of people. If you want to be good at any kind of art, you need to practice. It will take thousands of hours before you are really good at it. The thing is, you aren't born with the ability to do anything. I am terrible at basketball, but when I practice I do get better. If I devoted thousands of hours to it, I would be awesome at it. I might never be able to dunk though. You can learn anything if you work really hard.”

What are your long term goals for your art career?
“My goal is to be able to create more art. If painting could be my day job, it would be wonderful. I think it needs to happen in order for me to be able to create what I want to. I love teaching too, and luckily I have the summer off. I am traveling to an art festival in Dallas this summer, and my work will be in the fringe festival at Union Station as well as displayed in the Johnson County Libraries. I would like to paint on a much larger scale. I would love to have a studio.”

How did you think your event at Silver Screen Salon went and did you sell any of your work?
“I think it went great! I didn't hear anyone say they hated my work! I had a lot of great comments and tons of my friends showed up. I sold one very small painting. I think it is hard to sell art! Some of my stuff wasn't for sale, and it may have been my better stuff. I need to paint more large paintings.”

Check back for more on June's First Friday featured artist!!






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