Maggie Mathews fell in love with art at a young age — so young she can’t even remember when it all started. She can however remember painting all of the furniture in her room at age 11, to which she says, “sorry mom.”
There was no question that art would always be a part of her life. She says, “It was magic to me then and still is to this day!”
Coming from a family full of creatives, she had quite a few sources from which to learn and draw inspiration. Her dad, who is inspired by architecture, her grandmother and aunt, both painters, and her mom, with a passion for interiors and florals.. “Needless to say, I have always felt very supported in my love for art and am so grateful for that,” Maggie says.
Maggie spent much of her life by the coast, and it’s those seaside landscapes that she first painted before discovering her love of abstraction in art school. Her works are inspired by an endless list of things, from places she’s visited to textiles, organic lines, nature and “even the paint splatter on the wood floors” in her studio. This year, though, her biggest inspiration is collage. “You have to take things apart and trust that they can be put back together in a totally new way, it is thrilling!”
The media she uses range from acrylic to oil, gauche, ink, charcoal, gold and silver leaf and watercolor. Currently, she’s working on an Airstream trailer, morphing it into a space for collaboration and a mobile gallery. “The possibilities and destinations are endless,” she says. Also in the works is a children’s book, which Maggie is writing and illustrating. The project is a lifelong dream for her, and recently her collage work opened her mind to illustration possibilities that she hadn’t previously considered.
The studio where all this magic happens is marked by its large, old windows and the light they provide. Washed brick walls and antique floors cover the space and serve as another source of inspiration for Maggie, who has always been drawn to old things. She spreads out her materials without worrying about the cleanup. It’s all about the “method in the madness” and “organized chaos.”
Sitting in her studio is a small dish of seashells, again speaking to her childhood by the shore. The shells belonged to her grandmother Martha Lee Mathews, who collected them from the family’s most loved spots on Dog Island and St. Georgia Island, Florida. As a painter, her grandmother capture many of those coastal scenes, especially in the last years of her life. The Mathews family treasures each and every painting, and Maggie finds that keeping the dish of shells close by helps her keep her grandmother’s legacy alive in her own work. To make the connection even more special, Maggie and her grandmother share the same initials: MLM, with which both of their paintings are signed. Maggie says that as a child, her grandmother’s work was the first that she “truly connected with.”
The shells will stay with her wherever she paints, until she can pass them on.
When it comes to heirlooms and the preservation of stories, there’s nothing more important than hearing the narratives and inspirations of the makers and collaborators in your communities. We believe firmly in those people who work with their hands and master their craft, keeping it alive for another generation.
So, we reached out to artists in our community who we look to for inspiration ourselves. We asked them for insight into their creative processes, the legacy of their artwork, the importance of learning fundamental skills of a craft, and the role that their most special heirloom plays in their day-to-day. We also talked to them about our newest Studio Apron and received their design feedback. We wanted to ensure that the Studio Apron would be for artists and by artists.
heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of “keeping heirlooms around for another generation.” Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of “goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy” with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen aprons, tabletop linens, art, ceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com.