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Conversations with Laurie Maves

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laurie Maves. 

Hi Laurie, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Laurie Maves (Guglielmi)’s non-traditional career path has evolved extensively throughout her life. She began her study of studio art at the University of Wisconsin in the early 1990s. Unsure of how to launch her career, she traveled to Ireland to wait tables followed by stevedoring in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. During her travels, she realized she wanted to use her love of art to help others in some way. 

Subsequently, she studied Art Therapy and received her master’s degree from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 1997. 

Upon graduation, she moved to Denver, Colorado, and worked as an Art Therapist for a wide variety of venues including but not limited to nursing homes, pre-school day treatment programs, cancer centers, and kindergartens. Throughout the two decades Maves spent in Colorado, she was constantly drawing and painting, finding a niche for and successfully selling her work in the community. She established more than 500+ collectors of her stylized representational work, mostly without gallery representation. In 2008 Maves painted with three other artists live at Red Rocks Amphitheater for a crowd of 10,000 people, and developed as a somewhat “celebrity” live performance painter in the region. 

In 2017, she and her husband, Ralph Guglielmi, relocated to the Sun Coast of Sarasota, Florida. The following year she enrolled in a three-day intensive intuitive painting workshop led by German artist Bernd Haussmann that positively changed and overhauled the nature of her painting in a most exciting and necessary way. She found a new love for large-scale intuitive abstract painting, which not only constantly explored the deeply personal subconscious, but also challenged her boundaries of media, color, mark-making, and composition. She found that she wanted to share the enlightenment of the creative process with others in a whole new way, and established her own Arts and Art Therapies Studio, “The 11th Orange,” in the spring of 2019, where she promoted and taught her “BE FREE” large scale painting classes to hundreds of students. Unfortunately, following the negative economic fall-out of COVID-19 in the summer of 2020, Laurie made the difficult decision to permanently close “The 11th Orange.” 

In November 2020, Laurie was given the opportunity to relocate her studio to the warehouse of the prominent JKL Design Group, in northern Sarasota, FL, where she currently works on a limited part-time basis as the interior design firm’s “in house artist.” Laurie is most appreciative of this latest home for her studio and has found the new location to be a complete and total blessing to her continued advancement of style and professional development as a large-scale intuitive abstract painter. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I think most artists or people in creative fields of work tend to have to frequently reinvent themselves. As times change, contemporary styles change, and I’ve seen many colleagues fail to evolve nor be willing to expand their skill sets, and they seem to struggle the most. Ever since I can remember in my childhood, I wanted to be a successful working artist, but oftentimes that’s just not financially possible. The reality is that large-scale contemporary artwork (the paintings that I make) is a luxury item for many, and my workload tends to ebb and flow along with the national economy. Looking back on my diverse career, I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to attend graduate school early on in my career for my Master’s in Art Therapy. Because of that clinical training, I have been able to work as an Art Therapist in hospitals and mental health centers, as well as in private practice. But I have also taken jobs as a workshop facilitator, as an art instructor, and one of my most favorite as a live performance painter. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
This past year I have basically decided to retire from teaching and from practicing art therapy. I was best known in Sarasota, FL, as having an Arts and Arts Therapy studio, I called “the 11th Orange.” Here I combined my love of large-scale painting, art therapy, and teaching and offered large-scale abstract painting classes to the public. It was fun and my students seemed to truly enjoy themselves. They reported that the way I offered classes made them feel better. Some became relaxed, some more energized, and some just liked “playing” with paint. There were few “rules” in my classes. I encouraged students to simply enjoy the creative process. The studio was great, and I felt it was the perfect way to marry art-making with art therapy. Unfortunately, due to COVID, I had to close my studio back in 2020. It was a huge loss and blow to what I dreamed of having. But I’m so grateful for the time I did have the studio. I brought the joy of abstract painting and the creative process to hundreds of people in a short amount of time and I feel good about that. Today, I paint part-time as a commissioned contemporary artist for the prominent design firm, JKL Design Group in Sarasota. I love being a part of their team. I work a couple days a week as their “in-house artist,” and have a space in their warehouse, where I can create my own large-scale paintings, as well as work on custom projects for interior designers. I feel I’m unique in the way I approach my commissioned work. I meet directly with my clients to assess what thoughts and feelings they want invoked in the painting they commission. We decide on not only color choices but what themes are important to them. The result is a piece of art that holds meaning for the client, a one-of-a-kind treasure that was made just for and about them. 

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
In my mid-twenties, I remember meeting with a mature gentleman artist back when I lived in Denver, Colorado over 20 years ago. I asked him for advice on how to be successful as an artist. He said I had to put my time in – 15, 20 years maybe, and then I should be to a level I thought of as “success.” I remember being annoyed with his answer and frankly a little pissed off. How was I supposed to wait that long for my art to “take off”? Around that same time, someone told me about Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Outliers and the 10,000-hour rule, which I translated into spending as much time painting, drawing, writing, etc. as humanly possible. This is the same advice I give to young artists today. you’ve got to work, you’ve got to make work, lots of it, you’ve got to paint, you’ve got to live and breathe your creativity. So many young artists want to have success and sell work for thousands of dollars right out of school, and really, they don’t realize that maybe their work needs time to grow and mature. I know my own artwork took a similar path and it took a very long time for me to make the work I wanted to make. Now I’m fifty years old, and I feel I am there. My work is strong, its mature, its creative, insightful, and unique as far as contemporary abstract painting goes. But I had to not only make a lot of work, as I said before, I had to take many creative jobs along the way, diversify my skill sets, and constantly reinvent myself. 

Pricing:

  • large scale commissioned works range from $1500 – $6900

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Laurie Maves ART

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