Maria Hughes is a dedicated and prolific artist, with an eye for the abstract and an intense love of color. She began her career in design -creating window displays and the interior decor for a department store in Laredo, Texas.
After eight years there, she decided to pursue work that would give her more of a creative outlet. She began painting at age 30. Two years later, she moved from her home in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico to Houston to study art at the Museum of Fine Artist. She then began studies at the University of Houston, where she received her bachelor's in art education. Hughes taught in the Houston Independent School District, and after years in the classroom, pursued a master's degree in guidance and counseling at Texas A&M University. Hughes continued working in HISD as a counselor, until her retirement in 2003. Since then, Hughes has immersed herself in art. She joined the Houston Art League, always searching for ways to improve her technique. Seven years ago, she enrolled in a class taught by her former student, Armando Rodriguez, who converted Hughes into a printmaker. Hughes works have been showcased in three solo exhibits and in numerous group shows. She is a founding member of Canal Street Gallery and her work can be found on the gallery's walls as well as in a number of personal collections.
Art is all about color. The different shades and hues on my palette are what inspire me to create. I started as a painter, but I am currently in love with monotypes, a type of print made by drawing or painting on a smooth surface. It feels like magic when you pull the monotype off of the press. I create a monotype by painting on a clear acrylic plate using special water based, acrylic paints. To create texture, I apply several layers of color to the plate. When a layer is thoroughly dry, I apply the next. Once the painting is complete and dry, the printing process begins. The monotype is printed on a 100 percent wet cotton paper. The moisture on the paper makes the paint adhere. Only one print is created from the plate. This makes each monotype a unique piece of art. When I start a piece, I have no idea where I am going with it. I have no plans - I just begin. I only know what color I am going to use. As I work, I have to make decisions just as if I were solving a math problem. Instead of using numbers, I am solving which direction the work will go with color, texture, lines and movement. Some of the monotypes I have created are a reflection of how I see the beginning of the universe. I tried to portray the energy that it took for the world to come into being, as I imagine it. People ask me why the sun and moon play such a prominent role in my work. All I can say is that I love them. They remind me of my home in Mexico, Nuevo Laredo, and the town's beautiful sunsets and full moons. I love art. Creating a new piece brings me joy, and I hope that energy is revealed in my work. I ultimately want the viewer to walk away feeling some of the bliss that I felt when creating my art.