Wishing you a Happy Monday with another Artist Spotlight Series feature.

 This Virginia artist’s work is full go color and life. 

Enjoy getting to know

Maria Osorio Driscoll

Roanoke, Virginia

 

What is your training? 

I don’t remember a time in my life where I haven’t been creating art in some form!  I started taking art lessons since I was a little girl…  I was the only 11-year-old girl in a group of grown ladies taking oil painting lessons!. Throughout high school, I studied under an amazing Chinese watercolor artist.  To this day I use a lot of the techniques I learned from him.  After high school, I attended Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia where I studied fine art and industrial design for 3 years. One summer during my college years, I came to Roanoke, VA to visit my aunt and ended up meeting my husband and transferring to Hollins University where I completed my fine art degree. At Hollins, I studied painting with Bill White, a wonderful colorist who was and continues to be an incredible mentor.

What inspires you and your designs?

I am constantly inspired by nature and color. I  am a compulsive observer of the world around me.  Constantly observing and getting inspired leads me to want to try new things and experiment. As you can see in my work, the main constant is color but the subject and technique are always changing with experimentation and play! I am also greatly inspired by interior design and sometimes dream up pieces for spaces I see in magazines or online. I also draw color palettes from fabrics and different interior elements! A lot of my work comes from commissions. The collaboration with clients is very fulfilling and always ends up sparking new ideas! 

What is your favorite piece?

I could say the pieces that end up being my favorites are not necessarily because of the result but for how I felt creating them!  Sometimes it is truly like magic and you feel so removed from the present, time just goes by and you are completely immersed in the process.  I just love it when that happens!  

How has your area influenced your work?

I live in  Roanoke, Virginia, a small town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It truly is beautiful everywhere you look! I love the mountains and how they are the most gorgeous backdrop to the changing seasons. I am always in awe! 

Also, growing up in Colombia,  a lively country with such an enormous wealth of color, nature, artisans and culture has greatly influenced my work and color choices!

What is your favorite restaurant in Roanoke?

 My favorite is Lucky,  a small restaurant with the best cocktails!  They have the most delicious mussles and their fried chicken is to die for! 

I also love The River & Rail.  Their salmon over sea island peas is my favorite there! 

What is your favorite cocktail?

My two favorites are from Lucky. “The Handsome Devil”  which is bourbon and peach bitters, lemon, sugar, mint, aperitif wine and a strip of orange peel 

and “The Cube” which is an ice cube made of apples, ginger root, hibiscus and spices… they pour bourbon over “the cube” and as it melts the flavor changes. It’s just incredible!

I also have to admit, I never say no to a mojito or a margarita! 

How do you balance personal life and work?

During life before the pandemic, I tried to keep a consistent schudule of having studio time while my boys where in school and being home for them in the afternoons. Now, I am just trying to steal little moments to work whenever I can and I am trying really hard to celebrate small victories and silver linings in every day life. I also have accepted that there are days when I am super productive but there are days where I need to step back. That being said, I work great with deadlines so when needed, I can grab a bourbon and pull an all-nighter. I am a bit of a night owl and painting at night when there are so little distractions, works great for me.

Dream trip?

My travel bucket list is so long but I am dying to go to Jaipur and Island-hop through the islands of south east Asia. 

Dream commission?

 It would be a dream to collaborate with a brand like Schumacher in creating textile patterns inspired by my collages. I also love collaborating with interior designers and I have a long list of dream partneships!

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?

A set of my notecards or one of my hand painted vases or ornaments during the holidays. I also love giving flowers!

  

Who is your style icon?

Lauren Santo Domingo. Her style is timeless with an edge and I love that she promotes Colombian Fashion designers. 

Your favorite up and coming artist?

I am obsessed with the work of Raleigh artist, Kayla Plosz Antiel. I just bought ONE of her florals but wanted to buy them all.

I also love the work of my fellow color lover friend Kim Hassold who lives in Greenville, SC

What is your most treasured possession?

 My dog Bo who is a german shorthaired pointer full of personality and is my constant sidekick!

What are you reading?

Just finished Daisy Jones & The Six and I loved it!!!!

What are you listening to?

 While I work I listen to a long playlist that has a mix of everything but is heavy with fun Latin dance music!  I also listen to a lot of podcasts. I really enjoy Armchair Expert, Oprah’s Super Soul, What We Wore, The Chairish Podcast, Business of Home and Unlocking Us. 

What are your favorite blogs / publications?

I love Flower Magazine. It is a visually beautiful publication with articles I enjoy reading and always leaves me inspired.

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Here is a piece of hers in my den…

Enjoy a longer look at her portfolio and follow Maria on her website as well as Instagram.

 

 

 

 

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