Today we’d like to introduce you to Maeomee DeVos.
Hi Maeomee, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
As an educator with more than 20 years in the classroom, creativity was always part of my teaching practice. However, in my early years, I dedicated more of my spare time to art. I would dabble in watercolors or attend a 2-hour painting session with a group of ladies and come home with a completed artwork.
It surprises people to find out that I was almost an art major. My college career advisor talked me out of it, stating that art budgets are always the first to get cut in education. And so as life got busier and I became a mother, my inner artist was pushed to the side. I was blessed to be able to take the 2021-2022 academic year off from teaching. So I used the time to explore various facets of myself, like working for a few months with a life coach, volunteering every Wednesday at Healing Farms (a non-profit day program that works with specially-abled adults), attending yoga, proofreading manuscripts for a local author, and getting back into art.
For years I’ve been talking about having a dedicated art space in my home, and I finally went ahead and claimed my space where my easel is always up and I am always in the middle of a project. I am working my way through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and interacting with an eclectic group of artists through social media.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I don’t believe the life of the artist is a smooth road. There are many obstacles along the way. It’s been a challenge to build my self-confidence in my work because I see all of the flaws and the mistakes. Often the vision I have in my head is different than what shows up on the canvas. And it’s difficult because you never really know what’s going to sell.
And as a new artist, it’s a struggle to get my artwork out there. I do have plans on participating in a couple of art and craft fairs this fall, but that means I need to build an inventory which takes time. Calculating the market value of a piece is also tricky. I know with the more work I have out there, the more known I will be. However, I don’t want to sell myself short and undervalue my craft.
There is a good bit to juggle, especially now that I am returning to education. Although uplifting, a 40-hour work week takes a lot out of you. And by the end of the day, I don’t have much energy left to be creative, to practice my craft. I will have to grab me-time on the weekends at my easel.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Currently, my medium is acrylic paint, although I have dabbled with oil pastel cray pas and some mixed media collage work. I find living in the Lowcountry inspiring, and a large portion of my pieces are based on photographs I’ve taken throughout John’s Island. The marsh and the live oak trees just feel like the Lowcountry to me.
I am continuing to explore my personal style, attempting to loosen up from my rigidly realistic pieces and heading towards a more loose, expressive, impressionistic style. I am so very proud of the growth in my artistic abilities over these last months. And I can’t wait to see how I further evolve as an artist.
Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I grew up in rural Western Michigan and spent a good portion of my childhood outside, in the summer running around barefoot with pigtails and in the winter bundled up and building snow forts.
I was a tomboy, but partly because my nearest female neighbor was a three-mile bike ride away. And I was always interested in doing something creative. Sometimes it was as simple as a coloring book; other times I was drawing fashion models and designing clothing. I was outgoing and a little rambunctious. I’ve mellowed some as I’ve gotten older.
- 5in x 7in $50
- 8in x 10in $75
- 11in x 14in $120
- Website: www.MaeomeeDeVos.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/maeomee_devos
- Facebook: Facebook.com/maeomee.devos
- LinkedIn: https://www.