Much like Expedite Law and our parent company Fusion, Maria has 25 years' experience in legal software solutions, which meant she was the perfect art partner for our campaign.
Throughout Simon Clark Racing’s championship season, of which Fusion was the headline sponsor, Maria has been working on an extra special painting, with four limited edition prints up for grabs in our prize draw.
Maria shared with us some insight about her journey as an artist and what inspired her to get involved with the campaign...
Hi Maria, tell us a bit about your artistic background?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t draw, beginning as a child using graphite pencil. Although I studied Art up to ‘A’ level, regretfully I didn’t pursue any formal qualification in it after that and returned to it in earnest when my son went off to university.
Tell us a bit about your work, have you always specialised in automotive and animal paintings?
My rather strange subject matter pairing reflects my keen interest in both animals and vehicles. For a medium, my first love is watercolour: I love its wilful unpredictability, even though it can be quite unforgiving!
I work mainly on commission and began painting vehicles almost accidentally. A local restorer asked me to paint a Series 1 Land Rover and I agreed, imagining a sturdy olive and buff 1940s workhorse.
Arriving to take the photographs, I was presented with a stunning red recovery vehicle, fully signwritten on almost all sides! It was certainly a challenge, but I do love the precision required – the customers are experts and they will know if the window has too many rivets! Working as a Solutions Manager for a legal software solutions provider after 25 years in law firms of varying sizes has ingrained in me an eye for detail which has been really valuable in my painting career.
The Land Rover commission led to my running workshops at the British Motor Museum, allowing me to indulge my love of cars old and new. I drove a Porsche race car on the road before passing my driving test, so being invited to complete my previous commission in collaboration with Simon Clark at Brands Hatch during the final of the Porsche Club Race Series was a real ‘pinch me’ moment.
I hope that my paintings convey my passion for the subjects. I also draw influence and inspiration from other artists. Thomas W Schaller, a former US architect and acclaimed watercolour master inspires me to keep improving. He says he “paints the light” to bring moments to life – I aim to do the same.
Have you had any role models along the way?
My progress as an artist has been helped and shaped by timely encounters. Exhibiting locally, I met the artist Sara Abbott, previously Harrods’ in-house pet portrait artist. Sara encouraged me in so many ways, introducing me to an agent and giving me the confidence to develop further. Volunteering as Press Officer for the Todmorden Open Studios Committee enabled me to build a network of diverse artists and makers in my area.
What does art mean to you?
Art connects with our emotions, evoking memories and articulating our hopes, dreams and desires more eloquently than our words ever could. Original art represents a little modern-day magic: what was before a blank space becomes a thing of beauty, fashioned from nothing in a style unique to its creator who infuses it with a little of their soul.
I believe that art can make personal space more joyful, that it can motivate and inspire, even provoke debate. For many it gives the chance to escape from everyday frustrations, and the growth of workshops both online and offline, as well as the rising popularity of using art as part of a therapeutic process, show that people do turn to art in an attempt to restore some balance in life. I think this demonstrates how art changes and evolves to meet the needs of those who appreciate it.
What motivated you to support our Driving Against Cancer campaign?
Using my creativity to support organisations and individuals which resonate with me has been important since Clancy Fine Art began six years ago and during that period have raised thousands in funds for a number of them, including some regular favourites: Dobermann Assistance, Rescue and Education in Washington (DAR&E) and Art for Egypt Equine Aid.
I am really proud to have two cancer research scientists in my immediate family, whose careers are dedicated to investigating tumour drivers and resistance and immune-oncology and so when Fusion and Clark Racing offered the opportunity to support the Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust I was honoured to become involved.
How can readers find out more about you?
- Earth Spirit in Hebden Bridge
- Number Ten Gallery in Rochdale
- Staff of Life Inn at Eagle’s Crag, Todmorden
- Harbour Gallery, Jersey
- I exhibit at the annual Vintage Car event in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire
To find out more about our Driving Against Cancer campaign and enter our prize draw, head to our Just Giving page!