We are pleased to present this month’s featured artist and WAAM member, Maxine Davidowitz, with an exclusive interview and a showcase of her work. Her career as a creative director for consumer magazines spanned over 30 years, but In 2008 Maxine stepped away from full time creative direction to focus on her first love – painting.
Her recent work focuses on a slightly hallucinatory view of the natural world, and a loose, painterly approach to mark-making. The work titled “immersion/emerging” and “there/not there” are an exploration of the meaning she finds in the translucent dialog between natural forms and children, with their not-quite-soild presence in the world. Maxine finds interest in issues of scale, and the power that a relatively large size gives to the human face, particularly those of young children. And a series of very small pieces (8″x8″), with their intimate scale, engage the viewer in a different way.
The watercolor works were done over many years of travel and summer residence in Woodstock, NY. The digital collection are works done on the IPad using Adobe Eazel, which mimics in some ways the fluidity of watercolors, and explore shape and color in a free, intuitive way.
Maxine: I am both a fine artist and a magazine creative director. I spent 35 years as a full time creative director for major consumer magazines, and now i combine a consulting career—currently as creative director for Modern Farmer magazine, a quarterly based in Hudson—with a fine art practice that includes oil painting and monotypes.
WAAM: Are you a Hudson Valley native? If not, what brought you here and how long ago?
Maxine: Thirty-three years ago my husband and I bought a second home in West Shokan, and we ‘weekended’ until I left full-time employment in 2008. Since then I have gradually spent more time upstate, while he still has at least a 4-day week in Manhattan (attending to his clientele as a human resource consultant). I now consider myself a full-time upstate resident.
WAAM: What & why do you create?
Maxine: My paintings are usually inspired by the natural world surrounding us, but I have also been compelled to create imagery that expresses my feelings about the complex, hidden, internal world of childhood.
WAAM: What is your sustaining inspiration?
Maxine: My surroundings: the lush chaos found in nature, plant decay, water reflections, and of course, other artists’ work.
WAAM: Do you have a job to support your art? How is it relevant?
Maxine: See answer number one. My career is also an artistic pursuit, just a collaborative one. With my paintings, there is no editor, no-one else’s ideas to represent. But the limitations of working on a magazine are also a great discipline. And I’m lucky to be able to still use my skills on a publication whose mission (sustainable food production) is close to my heart. The trick is to balance the two so that I can sustain a practice as a painter and keep growing.
To learn more about Maxine and her beautiful work check out her website
Prints are available for modest prices, framed or unframed
Categories: WAAM Exclusive Interviews