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Artist Spotlight: Maurine Roy

December 6, 2012

I’d like to introduce you a delightful woman I met recently on a teaching trip to the Seattle area. One of the great pleasures of my profession is meeting quilters from all over the world. Maurine Roy is more than a talented quilter – she is a true Renaissance Woman. Some people just have a very special spirit about them. I think there is something we all can learn from her.

 

I looked through a very small portion of the quilts Maurine had stacked up on two beds in a spare bedroom. I can’t even estimate how many there where! Here she is – with her most recent “Quilt of Valor“- ready to be sent some lucky soldier overseas. She read us a thank you note from a soldier in Afghanistan that brought us all to tears.  (I encourage you all to check out this program if you haven’t heard of it. If you make tops you can be matched with a long-arm quilter – you don’t even have to do the whole thing yourself. )

Weird? I say wonderful! Can you imagine having a bathroom like this in your home? Notice the stained glass light cover in the shower!

Lyric: How long have you been creating art and how did you begin?

Maurine: I know exactly when I started.  It was in September of 1957.  My husband was killed in an automobile accident and I was left with 4 young kids, ages 4 weeks to 7.  It was a bad time and I couldn’t sleep at night, so I went out and bought paints and an easel.  After the kids were in bed I began painting.  I found that after painting for hours I could go to bed and sleep like a log.  It became my therapy.  My first painting is still hung in my living room.  I did some really weird stuff. 

Lyric: What is your goal in creating your work? 

Maurine:  I don’t know if I have a goal.  I think creating is my goal.  When I start a new medium I become obsessed with it and spend all of my spare time working with it. 

Lyric: Do you ever create art with the intent to earn income? 

Maurine: No. I create art for myself and for my own satisfaction.  It is totally rewarding to finish an object, knowing it is good, and then say “YES, I did it!

Lyric: So many artists are told that to concentrate on one medium or even one style. You seem to do the opposite. Do you have a favorite medium? 

Maurine: I concentrate on one medium until I burn myself out, then something else always pops up to get my attention.  There is always the excitement and challenge of starting a new project.  I have done painting, stained glass, lost wax casting, welding, notebooks, leather tooling (the valances in my rec room are hand tooled), quilting and whatever.  Lost wax casting was my favorite.  I worked with an artist who had his own equipment for casting.  It was like a foundry.  I have poured as much as 35 pounds of bronze at one time. 

A little sculpture about telemarketers – think they caught her at a bad time?

 A lot of my art reflects my life experiences.  Creating has always been my therapy.  It has helped me through many tough times.  Quilting is the medium that has lasted the longest.  I have been quilting since 1990 and have finished over 370 quilts.  Art quilts are my specialty though,  that is where the creative juices flow.  Quilting is an amazing art form. Once you have stepped into that world,  you find there are no limitation placed on your creativity or your depth of feelings.

Cast bronze, a sculpture of Maureen’s son building a fort.

Lyric: Does one medium spark ideas for work in a different medium or do you think in a different design style for each medium?

Maurine: It is definitely a different design style for each medium.  The only commonality is that it comes from the same heart and mind.  All of it in some ways represents my thoughts and feelings and experiences.  It is such a great outlet for emotions and I have been blessed with this ability to creatively express myself.

Lyric: What does it mean to you to be able create beautiful things?

Maurine: I am 85 years old and I hope whatever creative talents I have will live on through my art for many years.  This is a part of myself that I can leave to future generations.

Well, there you have it. Maurine is as gracious and witty and kind in person as she is in this interview. I am inspired. What are my take-away lessons learned from Maurine?

Do the art because you must.
Explore without fear.
Find health and sanity through your art.
Think of future generations. 

This is Maurine’s first time on a blog. I would be thrilled if you left a comment for her to read. Hey – get your friends to come read and leave a comment too. Let her know how much it means to have someone like her out there making the world a better and more beautiful place!

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    MaryAnn Hardy
    December 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you for the lovely story about Maurine. I’ve had the pleasure to share time with her at an annual quilting retreat in Pt. Townsend. She is a WONDERFUL woman to share any time, any space, any laughter with. SHE is a treasure among all the treasures she has created. She is an artist, but she is also an artist of life: she embraces you with her warmth and good humor and good sense. We can learn a lot from Maurine, and not only about her wonderful artistic gifts. She faces life with a sense of humor and acceptance. She’s able to see the beauty AND the fun in what we have at hand…and off she goes, manipulating and creating and producing lovely objects for the rest of us to enjoy. Thank you Maurine! And thanks to Lyric for opening the door …just a little…to Maurine’s world.
    MaryAnn Hardy
    Nanoose Bay, British Columbia
    Vancouver Island

  • Reply
    Sheila finzer
    December 11, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Congrats Maurine! I have always been impressed with your work! I had no idea about your other creative endeavors besides quilting. keep up the wonderful work!
    Sheila F

  • Reply
    Carol Webb
    December 10, 2012 at 4:08 am

    Great to see the variety Maureen’s of work. It is superb, surpassed only by her sparkly and loving personality. Carry on, Maureen!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Sand
    December 10, 2012 at 12:04 am

    I’m a friend of Maurine’s daughter (who has not fallen far from the tree when it comes to the creative spirit) and have been to one of Maurine’s shows in La Conner–it’s not just that they are quilts! This is amazing art, as if she is painting through her quilting. She is versatile and prolific. Some of the quilts are very traditional and some wildly abstract–all beautifully executed. Stunning work. I didn’t realize she did so many other types of art like the sculptures. I’m going to be snooping around next time I visit her house.

  • Reply
    Carol Olsen
    December 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I’ve known Maurine for a long time and she has always been an amazing woman. A group of us meet every fall at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington and it is so much fun to see what everyone is up to. Maurine shared her letter from the QOV recipient with me, since I am deeply involved with the program (see http://www.qovf.org) and I was also brought to tears. I’ve only known Maurine as a “quilter”, and didn’t know about the other talents. She is not only a talented artist, she is a very special person too. So proud to know her.

  • Reply
    Joan Greaves
    December 8, 2012 at 6:24 am

    I was so delighted to read the article, Maurine. Lyric, you did a magnificent job on capturing the essence of this wonderful lady. I am privileged to be a friend of Maurine’s for many years and I admire everything she accomplishes. She is a kind, lovely lady who is willing to help and advise anyone asking for guidance. I do not know of any of Maurine’s work that I do not love and admire. It certainly is my fortune to be a friend and in her company. Her work is really outstanding and delightful to see. Such inspiration abounds in her mind. Maurine is magnificent in all her wonderful art mediums.

  • Reply
    Ellin Larimer
    December 8, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Maurine, what a lovely article. Miss you at what we now abreviate as “FO”, but really glad to see you at Ft. Worden in the fall. Ellin

  • Reply
    Pat L
    December 8, 2012 at 3:34 am

    This is one incredible lady. Thank you for sharing her story on your blog. I feel blessed to spend a week with her each year.

  • Reply
    Joan Dyer
    December 8, 2012 at 12:11 am

    I have had the pleasure of working with fabric alongside Maureen many times in past years. What a lovely woman, and an inspiration to all of us. Just watching her create gives us all a boost in our creative quests. So talented!

  • Reply
    Roxanne Carter
    December 7, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    I have known Maurine for a long time and once when I was asked who I thought of when it came to a mentor, I thought of Maurine. She has so much talent and is so gracious to share it with others. I love all her work, especially her quilting. She deserves all the praise I have read about. Thanks for sharing your interview with us.

    • Reply
      Pat Hedwall
      December 8, 2012 at 6:32 am

      Good for you, Maurine. You and your quilts are magnificent and you are an inspiration to all us “old girls”.

  • Reply
    Beverly
    December 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I love the fearlessness Maurine shows in her tackling of diverse media. Truly an inspiration! Thankyou to Lyric for sharing.

  • Reply
    Sharmond
    December 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Maureen’s story is so inspiring. I’m glad to have met her through your blog. She inspires me to keep on learning.

  • Reply
    Maureen
    December 7, 2012 at 5:49 am

    What a wonderful inspiration you are Maureen!! It is so wonderful to see someone work thru their grief and come out with something beautiful. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Lisa Ledbetter
    December 7, 2012 at 3:45 am

    I love you nanny. You are one of the most important and inspirational people I know.

  • Reply
    Susan Gunderson
    December 7, 2012 at 3:18 am

    You all are talking about my mother. (BTW, her name is spelled Maurine.) I grew up to the sound of her tooling leather and have been a witness to nearly every piece of art she has created. She is truly a wonder and we all love her very much. How she managed with the four of us after my father died is still a mystery. I know that artistic expression helped her recover from such a devastating event. As a fellow artist (hand woven clothing and now clay), I know what it is like to live with that creative spirit. I have no doubt about where I got it!!! Thanks, Lyric, for your wonderful article. My mother deserves all of the attention she can get. Her work is truly astounding.

  • Reply
    Nevien
    December 7, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Thank you, Lyric, for a great interview with an amazing woman. Maureen makes me feel inspired to create in my own way. Maureen, if you read this, I want to tell you that I love that you explore different ways of creating in such an enthusiastic and open manner. Many people dabble a bit here and there, or fall in love with just one medium, so it’s a treat to see someone who allows her creativity to blossom in many different ways.

    I tried to pick a favorite from the beautiful creations you shared here, and I find I can’t! I love them all. I am glad to know you continue to create, because there can never, ever be enough beauty in the world.

  • Reply
    Marjorie Horton
    December 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    I was impressed with Maureen’s creative spirit and outlook. I would love to be able to sit down with her over a cup of coffee and hear more and be able to see the beautiful things that make up her creative legacy.

  • Reply
    Jane Gherardi
    December 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Thank You, Lyric,
    And Thank You Maureen,
    I will try harder to follow your lead, and create what is right there inside!
    Your art is so inspiring!

  • Reply
    Chris
    December 6, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Thank you for a lovely interview! I read so often about finding an artistic voice, which has always struck me as a bit limiting. Here is a woman who has found her voice and understands the it doesn’t have to be a monotone one-style of expression, but rather embraces the entire range and variances that her talents allow. All the best –

  • Reply
    Sharry Miller
    December 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    What an amazing woman! Thank you so much for sharing Maureen with us. Now I feel better about my own tendency to hop from medium to medium as my muse is inspired.

  • Reply
    Leanne H.
    December 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Maureen – I love how you “flit” between various art mediums, but you stay long enough in each to become a master! You inspire the rest of us to go deeper into our expression of art, not just for us, but for future generations. Hopefully my grandkids will see my intention to communicate the fearless approach you so aptly express.

  • Reply
    Ms Lottie
    December 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Wow! Such a wealth of talent and creativity and that it spans so many different mediums. Go Maureen! You’re inspirational!

  • Reply
    Vanessa Johanning
    December 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    what a wonderful artist!! Inspiring to us all! keep on making your beautiful art!! It is all breathtaking!!!!!!!!!!!!

    xxoo

  • Reply
    laura cater-woods
    December 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I first met Maureen Roy at Quilting By the Sound in the late 90s. She was fearless in exploring her art using fabric and had the most positive attitude!
    Over the years she’d pop in to any workshop I presented in the Pacific NW. It’s been a while now but the joy for life that made her stand out all those years ago seems to still be present, She’s a treasure, a wonderful role model, a person who lives in grace.
    Lyric thank you for interviewing her and sharing!

  • Reply
    Carole Eaton
    December 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    hello from New Zealand. I love to work in many mediums as well and have sewn since I was 8 years old so when I lost a dearly loved son 8 years ago I started painting in earnest – as with Maureen it became great therapy but also opened up a whole new world of colour, imagination and beauty. I have now got into the IT world of the many Artists like you Lyric through my IPad and keep in touch with the world of mixed media from our lovely country here down under. NEW ZEALAND has a wealth of talent and ordinal ideas from being so far away from the rest of the world – Hope you all get to see the new Peter Jackson Film of ‘The Hobbit’ were you will see our country all through the background. Cheers to Maureen, and Lyric for keeping the art flame alive. Carole

  • Reply
    Irene
    December 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Wow! what an inspiration…so true just follow your heart and your passion…beautiful story

  • Reply
    Elly
    December 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    WOW!! Mareen, you and your art are AMAZING!!
    Perhaps Lyric will share more of your beautiful work on her blog!
    Thanks to you and Lyric for sharing your story with us!

  • Reply
    Antoinette Brown
    December 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you for posting the interview and photos. I especially liked the casting of her son building a fort. What perseverance she has to master medium after medium.

    • Reply
      Lisa Ledbetter
      December 7, 2012 at 3:46 am

      That’s my dad!

  • Reply
    Peggy French
    December 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Wow, what a great collection of work and wonderful interview with a most inspiring woman, Maureen….Happy Creating!

  • Reply
    Sue Thomas
    December 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Maureen is an inspriation to all of us. I love how show switches media, then excels at it, and then switches again!! He art is incredible. Thank you for sharing your work, Maureen, and keep on arting!

  • Reply
    Virginia A. Spiegel
    December 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Maureen, What amazing artwork! Lyric, thanks so much for featuring such an interesting and inspirational artist.

  • Reply
    Sharon Pederson
    December 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    What a delight to see your wonderful article about Maurine Roy. I had the pleasure of meeting Maurine many years ago in a class in Edmonds, WA. I was a fairly new teacher making my first entry into ‘international’ teaching (I am from Canada) and Maurine made me feel right at home. When she sent me the photos of her reversible quilt I realized that I had been in the presence of a true artist. Thank you Maurine for sharing your beautiful work and your inspiring attitude. I will be always grateful for your contribution to my first book – Reversible Quilts – and I’m looking at your fantastic quilt as I type this. You are a wonderful role model. Best wishes, Sharon

  • Reply
    Lisa
    December 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Maureen, You are an amazing artist! I really enjoyed hearing about how you started as an artist (so wonderful that you could turn a tragic point in life into something wonderful and soothing for your soul) and about your many artistic adventures!

    Thanks for sharing Maureen’s story, Lyric.

  • Reply
    Bonnie McCaffery
    December 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Maureen you are truly inspiring. I love seeing how age does not matter. You just keep creating. Thank you sor that.

  • Reply
    Amie
    December 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    What a beautiful collection of Maureen’s amazing art you must have been so fortunate to have seen!!! Maureen is truly an inspirational woman!! I love that she has mastered many mediums! I often feel that I have restricted myself to fabric. Maureen has inspired me to just create….in any medium!!!! And I am looking for a carousel horse for my bathroom!!! So very fun!!!!

  • Reply
    sue bleiweiss
    December 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    What a wonderful interview. I really enjoyed reading about Maureen’s journey and seeing some of her gorgeous work. What an inspiration she is!

  • Reply
    Joy
    December 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    What incredible creativity that started within the hole of grief. Maureen’s work is amazing and her story truly inspirational. I love how she uses her talent in so many avenues. Thank you & thank Maureen for sharing !!

  • Reply
    Byrd
    December 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    This just what I needed to hear this week: “I create art for myself and my own satisfaction.” I’ve been struggling with a piece and its ‘likeability’. If I take that out of the process, and go with just what the work needs, I relax. Thank you Maureen. You have given me a push and a pat on the shoulder! Take care, Byrd

  • Reply
    Sandy Snowden
    December 6, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Hi Lyric,
    Please tell Maureen I am so glad to hear about someone who is interested in all sorts of creative expression. For me I do so much better in each because of what I know about the other things I do.
    I think it would be amazing to see your work in person. Thanks for letting Lyric tell your story.
    Sandy in the UK

  • Reply
    Maggi
    December 6, 2012 at 9:43 am

    What a great interview. Maureen sounds like a wonderful person and is an inspiration to us all.

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