Maureen has always been a maker. Always. Always asking herself the question “What if?” and experimenting. Sometimes it works; sometimes it does not but always learning in the process. Always desiring to encourage children and emerging artists to experiment and try something new too. One day, as she was trying to come up with a cheaper way of teaching her middle school students about mono printing, She ran across an article about using Jell-O for the printing plate. Once again, “What if?” came knocking and she was off to the nearest Walmart to purchase Knox Unflavored Gelatin. By the next morning, the floor was covered with the greatest prints made on old newspaper, using all kinds of things to add texture into the wet paint rolled out on her Jell-O plate. The kids loved it and were very successful at creating wonderful prints. The only problem was the Gelatin did not keep well on warm days as she found out the hard way by leaving it in her car on a day that did not feel that warm and had to clean up melted gelatin. Not so fun! That is when she started to look at the Gel Press plate a little closer. The Gel Press worked as well as the gelatin did and she could take it anywhere. So this is now what she uses to make her art prints with.
She kept experimenting and soon she had bags full of these crazy abstract prints. What is a girl to do? And her favorite question came back to mind. “What if?” What if she used these crazy abstract prints and collage them into something not so abstract?
By painting an acrylic under-painting , tearing and then pasting the prints onto the surface, a new body of work was born. There was no looking back. She was addicted. She found the process of tearing and gluing down the bits of hand painted paper much like sculpting. Her years of watercolor painting had taught her about color, temperature and form. The tactility of the printing on the papers and the tearing of them become almost “Zen”- like, resting her mind into a place of more creativity. She began to work more and more solely in her new art form in her very public studio in her local Coffee Shop.