says her fine art tells a story
approach has a primitive style
that employs much detail
Helen E. McKinney
Texture and colors are vital elements to artist Maria Pfropper.
They breathe life into her detailed artwork, while sparking the viewers
imagination to enter the realm she has created on canvas.
I always enjoyed art as a fairly young child, said Pfropper,
who paints with acrylic on canvas. But in high school, Pfropper leaned
more toward textiles than painting.
by Don Ward
Maria Pfropper considers
herself a true folk artist.
That was until my father bought me some oils, and
I went from there, said Pfropper. She eventually switched to acrylics
and I went professional pretty quickly.
Pfropper said her favorite subject matter is to paint whats
on my mind. For this reason, she describes her work as pretty
She paints pieces as if they were a story through symbolism. The
design is in my head. I dont know what it will look like until Im
She has a primitive style that employs much detail. The fact that she
used to sew and quilt prolifically is evident in each of her paintings.
There are many layers to her work and always a narration behind the symbolism.
She cites her work, Making Music, as a perfect example of
what she does best. It is filled with floating representations of Cupid,
Apollo, Venus, Pluto, Mother Earth and animals.
I consider this image my romantic version of Van Goghs Starry
Night, with the angels making music to the passion of creation,
Pfropper won Third Place in the Fine Art category of the 2011 Madison
Chautauqua Festival of Art. She said she is always delighted when she
wins a competition, especially this one because it is based upon such
a selective juried system.
Every artist is juried in every year. No one is grandfathered in,
said Madison Chautauqua coordinator Georgie Kelly. Although many are returning
artists, every year we get new exhibitors. This keeps the show fresh.
Were always presenting something new.
Pfropper is familiar with many of the artists who exhibit in the Madison
Chautauqua, who are her competition when it comes to being judged. She
said their artwork is outstanding and she prefers to exhibit at the Madison
Chautauqua because it is somewhat smaller than some other shows
and is a great venue near the water.
At home in Michigan, I do a lot of shows around the water,
Pfropper said. She has traveled to shows in Missouri, Minnesota and Florida,
and displayed her work at all types of shows in Ann Arbor, Mich., and
at many different art galleries.
She would love to live in Madison in an historic home, for
inspiration, she said. She is working on a riverboat image that she hopes
to present next year in Madison.
Pfropper said she has won quite a few awards this year for her multifaceted
artwork. She accepts many commission assignments as well, and one of her
honors has been to create a Christmas tree ornament for the Smithsonian
Institution. She said she would like to be able to have time to create
more original paintings in the future.
When asked where her inspiration comes from, Pfropper said, Basically,
Im a true folk artist.