Maria Birnkammer - Painter
Maria Ilse Birnkammer grew up in a large military family, moving often and readjusting to new places. Her fondest memories are those from the years she spent in New England and in Norway. She credits her parents, who both earned art degrees late in life, with nurturing her creative spirit. Although her first artistic expression was through music, she found that her need to create resulted in many creative outlets through the years. Whether playing the cello or piano, gardening, sewing, knitting, writing, or painting, all these pursuits have honed her intuitive sense of who she is as an artist.
Nature, everyday sightings, and color inspire Maria. Her acrylic paintings begin with representational lines and shapes of what she sees at a very basic level. Then come the extremes in color, shape, line, and mood. “I am looking for that place between what is real and imaginary and strive for the moment when the work separates from the original representation, when it takes on an abstract life of its own, and when painting decisions are not planned, but made in the moment.” Her work is mostly influenced by post-impressionism and the styles that came from it.
With five children grown and gone, and her recent retirement from the U.S. Census Bureau, she now has time to slow down, to exhale paint upon canvases and to paint outside of the lines.