Medium:  Watercolor, Acrylic, Oils, Colored Pencil



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Update:  It is with sadness we report that on January 12, 2018, Maria A. (Mary) Bales passed away. Mary first became a member of our association in 1978. She had recently served as our Membership Chair, and prior to that our Vice President and Open Studios Chair. Mary was a very active member of our group and volunteered at many events throughout the years. Her contributions and friendship will be sorely missed.

In March of 2015, the Petaluma Argus Courier / Petaluma 360 ran a fabulous feature about Maria Bales and her work.  Brushstrokes of Color Flowing on Canvas

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Art has always been a part of my life.  Even as a child I loved looking at paintings and trying to copy what I saw. Real life, however, gets in the way of ones desires and we often find ourselves busy with life and family and letting our dreams wait for a better time.

Not until I was in my late 50’s did I finely get serious about painting.  I studied watercolors with a local teacher and took some art classes at the Junior College.  Read lots of books on artists and methods and took on line classes and workshops.

As a self-taught artist I give much credit to those who teach, give workshops and write instructional and theory book, without which I would never have achieved my goal of becoming an artist.

Watercolor is my favorite medium.  I love the way the colors flow over the paper and how sometimes they suggest things to me that I hadn’t planned but I can develop into interesting shapes and images.  These are the most exciting times and when I feel the most creative.

When I work with oils I must have a plan first, then the process of building the layers of color and texture is where I can be creative and still be in control.

With acrylics, which are a new medium for me, I find I can be freer and even whimsical.  They can be worked as I do my watercolors or as I do the oils.  I find them to be the most versatile of mediums.

I have been a member of Petaluma Arts Association since 1978.  I’ve held a position on the board and on many committees, was the Treasurer for 4 years and Chairman of Art in the Park for 3 years.  I continue to be an active member of this Organization who is very supportive of local artists, and helps to support art programs in the local schools.