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Maureen Mace

Oil painting, Mono-prints
309 Milton Road, Cambridge

My paintings are about colour, detail and ideas. They tell stories that can be magical and surreal.

I start with an idea, a flash that comes out of the blue, in a dream, as a thought or sparked by an image. I play with the idea in my imagination until I start the first sketches, invariably accompanied by words and lists. I leave the idea to grow and ripen. Later, maybe a few days, a week, several months, I play with the ideas again refining, changing, thinking, scribbling.

When I am certain I want to paint an image I apply several layers of gesso onto a finely woven linen canvas. I build a painting from the background up and as I paint the original image in my head changes and evolves. Many of the paintings include copper or silver leaf. To do this I paint the area where the metal leaf will be in a glorious deep red, wait a few days for it to dry then add this richly layered leaf. This done, I start the intricate detail. This is the part I love. Listening to the wonderful dramas on the Radio 4 iPlayer, I slowly cover the foreground in layer upon layer of tiny intricate details using small sable brushes and oil paint mixed to a buttery consistency. It is hours of work.

The resulting oil paintings are very decorative. Set against a night sky, often with a glowing moon, they are inspired by medieval tapestries, the Arts and Crafts movement and Indian miniatures which give them their richness and allow me to add gold, copper or silver leaf.

I also teach at Cambridge Art Classes.

16 Cambridge Colleges
Waterbeach Brass Band
Paris Plane
The Rose Tree
Going Out, a Cambridge Cow
Shepherd Sleeping
Silver Birches
Corksrew Catkins
Tree of Knowledge
Apple Quarters
Night Branches
Moon Flower
Cambridge Rooftops
Winter Garden
Night Blossom