This article is a first because I have never told the story about my artist wife, Maureen Radcliffe George. I have mentioned and described her work as she participates in various exhibits as a printmaker at the Lee Arts Center in Arlington, Virginia. Yet, I have not provided a diligent description about her as my lifelong companion and love of my life. (It is our anniversary next week, the day before Valentine's.)
This coming Friday, February 8, 2013, her work will be exhibited at an opening at the Waverly Street Gallery in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Love of my life
When we were in high school we had jobs working at my cousin’s restaurant. She was a waitress and I was the grill chef. There are many details about our meeting, but that won’t fit here, so I will leave you in suspense. Instead, I will share with you the painting that changed my life, a watercolor that she gave to me for my birthday in 1967. She was a high school student with a watercolor mentor as they did not teach art at her school. That painting hung by my side ever since.
It is light and free, yet demonstrates much discipline for the medium and associated skill. That portends the artist that she would become by studying at The Ohio State University where she learned printmaking from Sidney Chafetz.
As a painter, she mastered oil and acrylic, inspired by abstract expressionists and by her Aunt Jean McKinley Pack, a well-known interior designer from Chicago's north side who also painted.
Maureen is exceptionally able, demonstrated by her mastery of art media including oil, acrylic, watercolor, printmaking, and ceramics too. Today, she is more at printmaking, however, prints often begin with a painting.
We initially lived in our native Ohio in several cities while she gave fulltime attention to our daughter, Mary. She and Mary would paint and produce art together continuously. We moved to Chicago and their painting together continued with interaction with Aunt Jeanne.
We moved to Tampa, Florida, and Maureen engaged the landscape as we lived on Tampa Bay. She undertook painting scenes of the water and our subtropical living. She became a designer for a Fortune 500 company and mixed design and advertising work with fine art.
We moved again to Hermosa Beach, California. While moving is disruptive it is also stimulating. Living on the beach in Los Angeles was a dream that she enjoyed with a studio from which she could see Palos Verdes to the south and Malibu to the north.
Maureen loves music and especially operas. The opera obsession began when we lived in California where she also did design work for people like the Morgan Wixson Theater in Santa Monica. She supported the Terpsicorps Dance Company and designed their logo and promotional materials.
The interaction with theater mixed with opera from which a series of paintings and prints would emerge over time.
Eventually, we would move northward to Alameda, living on the San Francisco Bay. She became active in Alameda Women Artists and designed their logo. She painted with intensity from our studio in an old Victorian house overlooking the estuary. Opera music played and she painted with high ceilings. She participated in open studios as she loaded the 14 foot walls with opera paintings shown in the salon style.
One day in February near Valentine’s, we opened the Oakland Tribune and there, as part of the masthead, was Maureen’s painting of Carmen in full color. That painting is now hung by a collector in Palm Springs California as her work is owned by many persons across the nation.
In every location, Maureen has become a part of the local art community and champions women artists.
Now, at the Waverly Gallery, you will see three prints. The toreador Monotype with Chine Collé print Toréador L'amour T'attend! Et Songe Bien, and the Carmen image is Toréador L'amour T'attend! The third monotype with Chine Collé is Quando Men Vo, based on an Aria from La Boheme.
Two prints are truly a pair. If you look at them hanging together, one is glancing at the other with admiration and love.
Other opera paintings are shown in the slideshow.
In many instances, she often takes design elements from the paintings to produce prints and sometimes jewelry items. She incorporates details from these paintings to produce additional art as they are so rich in visual elements.
Technical achievements include large complex prints and exquisite details that might even include tatting.
Waverly Street Gallery’s 6th Annual Invitational Show
February 5 - March 2, 2013
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 12 - 6PM
Reception: Friday, February 8, 6-9PM
Open Tuesday - Saturday
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
4600 East-West Highway
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Entrance and parking on Waverly Street.
One block from Bethesda Metro station.