Brushstrokes by Maria     
Maria Castellano-Usery
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Welcome to my website!  My name is Maria, and art has been a lifelong passion for me.  I was born and raised on Long Island, New York.  I earned a BA in Fine Arts from Hofstra University in 1994, with minors in Art History and Philosophy.  Within a year of graduating, I moved to Maine, and have since made this beautiful state my home.  Since selling my first piece in 1996, I have been consistently involved in showing my work in both group and solo settings. In July 2007, I decided to intensify my commitment to my art, and have since painted every day. Even when traveling doesn't allow me to be in front of my easel, I bring along a sketchbook. My work has been described as positive, fun, mystical, and colorful.  I love color and texture, and don't believe in restricting myself.  I try to give myself up to the process and just let things flow; subject matter is whatever grabs me at the moment.

My primary medium is acrylic, but I also enjoy working with collage/mixed media.  I have also worked with oil pastel and polymer clay.  My work varies in execution, style and subject matter, but the foundation of each piece is firmly situated in the joy I find in spreading light and positivity.  This might be done through the use of humor, color variety, spiritually based messages or themes, or a combination of these and other elements.  There is plenty of darkness in the world already; I believe in bringing constructive, encouraging and affirming energy into people's lives through my art.

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