As our first ever grand prize winner of The Arts of Southland Art Competition, visionary Maria (Masha) Campbell displays her extraordinary skill with the award winning original painting titled, “The God Ra”in oil. Born in Krazny Kut, Russia, Maria is a first generation American artist working from Knoxville Tennessee. With the influence of her mother, a former Maryville college art teacher, Maria’s love for art began at a young age. Carrying a lifelong passion for art, Maria studied and developed her skill by earning her bachelor’s degree in Art in Virginia.
Maria Campbell is our first ever grand prize winner in our Annual Arts of Southland Art Contest for her oil masterpiece, "The God Ra" (pictured above) which is still available for purchase!
“A lot of people will put art down for art but my ideas come from what is given to me through meditation. References serve only as a guide for my own ideas.”- Maria Campbell
Excelling in many styles and mediums, Maria shows a proclivity for hyper-realism, although she admits to feeling limited by graphite as a means for expression, and highly prefers the vibrant hues and versatility of oil paint. Instead, Maria uses her accuracy for drawing to execute more surreal themes that she finds carry more availability for emotion. Although Maria can work from a reference to create realistic works, she normally uses such references to help execute her own thoughts and ideas which may convey personal emotion or symbolism.
Finding inspiration from many sources from the surrealism of Salvador Dali to literary works such as The count of Monte Cristo and Dante’s Inferno, Maria defines her work by many elements and skill-levels. Her favored subjects normally include animals which represent spiritual symbolism. She also harbors a strong interest for deities and mythological creatures of many cultures including Egyptian, South American, and Hindu making Maria’s work exceptionally diverse.
Above is shown an example of Maria's realism work.
“I encompass my spirituality in art as much as possible. This work isn’t just about me this work is about other people. I want other people to look at my work and feel hope within themselves.”-Maria Campbell
Characterized by intent to create contrast and dimension with vibrant color rather than with dark shades, Maria’s technique displays a clear knowledge of composition as well as color-theory. These elements combine together effortlessly with the help of Maria’s unique vision to create original artwork that is truly enthralling. Maria’s art directly reflects her inner-being in that her ideas for artwork are inspired by visions she receives through meditation.
Perhaps the most inspiring motivation for Maria’s unique and vibrant creations is that she finds healing through the creation of her work. “This is my entire life work; my passion, “she expresses. With her life greatly affected by alcoholism and trauma, Maria creates as a means of therapy and freedom, with an ultimately positive outlook on life and herself. This can be experienced by any who have the pleasure of witnessing her work. Maria’s passionate expression can be seen in the intricate details and bold color of her work and reminds us all of why we are compelled to create art in the first place.
“My work has helped me recover in ways that therapy could not. Art has helped me heal and process these parts of myself.”-Maria Campbell
To support Maria or for interest in commissioned work, message her Facebook page, The Perceptions of Masha, and follow her on Instagram @Maria_Laflame.
Pictured (Above) is a custom mural by Maria Campbell.
Maria Campbell poses with her mural masterpiece.
Surreal Gray-scale work from Maria Campbell
M.A.D Maryville Arts District invites artists to submit work inspired by a set theme for public display at Southland Books & Cafe for a monthly! Sd an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Make sure the email contains photos of your hanging artwork along with the piece's details (name, medium, title)
“Midsummer Night’s Dream” Jul. 12-Aug. 22
“A Dream Within A Dream”- Summer Aug. 23-Oct. 3
“Classic Horror”-Halloween Oct. 4-Nov. 2
“Mythical Harvest”-Harvest Nov. 3- Nov. 28
“Winter Forest” -Winter Nov. 29- Jan. 2
“Mythical Creatures”*Annual Juried Contest! Jan. 3- Feb. 6
“Black History Appreciation” -Black History Month Feb. 7- Mar. 6
“Femme Fatale”-Women's History Month Mar. 7- April 17
“Flourishing Gardens”-Spring April 18- May 29
“Pride”-Annual Pride- May 29- July 3