Studio Process: Maura Segal

5/6/2020


"As a child, I loved to cut, paste and paint" says Maura. Although creativity came naturally to her, she was not encouraged to pursue it into adulthood. As a young adult, she met her husband who gave her the support to pursue artwork as a career. She received her Bachelor in Graphic Design from California State University, Northridge and began to pursue artistic endeavors. 

In her mid-twenties, she partnered with her husband to design women's clothing. The duo was a success and their designs were carried by luxury retailers across the county. At 27, Maura was working in fashion and had recently given birth to her first child. While designing her daughter's nursery, she saw a lamp that was covered in daisies and thought, "I could do that". After creating her first prototype she was quickly in business working on lighting designs for companies like Anthropologie and other home stores. Over years, she and her husband built the business into a successful brand. 

Turning 40, Maura thought to herself, "What do I really love to do?". The answer was painting but she was unsure about leaving the lighting business she and her husband had created to forge an uncharted path as a fine artist. Again, her husband encouraged her to pursue her dream. She began a diligent studio practice, working 7 days a week to explore her mark and develop her style. Her background in graphic design is the foundation of the way the work began to take shape - a strong emphasis on color and shape. The early pieces were very heavily collaged in part because the artist would experiment on one canvas over and over. To work through an idea, she would paint white over an older painting to start anew. This became an iconic part of her work. 

She practiced creating work for eight years in her studio until in 2015, Maura received her first commission for the Martin Luther King Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. This was her first opportunity showing her work in a public environment. The exposure lead to her introductions to representing galleries and ultimately launching the artist's career. The work she created for that first commission has evolved and grown as she has become more confident in the minimalism of her work. She refers to her collages as "sculptures on paper" that involve cutting positive and negative shapes to begin the first layer of the painting. This "free-flow puzzle" as she calls it, is a form of two dimensional sculpture for the artist; a lot of this process is intuitive for Maura. 

The style of Maura's work is not static. Although she has an identifiable mark, she continues to explore new ways of working. "I insulate myself in the studio", she says that it helps her to find her own way of creating, her own style. The act of producing the work is very energizing for the artist and every morning she heads into her studio with a positive mindset. Looking back on her artistic career and it's many avenues, she wishes she could tell her younger self, "do not look back, create your own voice". As her three daughters are reaching into adulthood, her artistic nature has influenced each of them and they are pursing careers in songwriting and film making. 

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