Maggie Clifford-Bandstra (b.1970) in the United States. In 2021 Bandstra completes her M.F.A. in Painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Bandstra has a Masters in Educational Leadership from Michigan State University and a B.S. in Education from the Loyola University of Chicago. She has been building her studio practice alongside her full-time job as an arts educator. Maggie currently lives in Grand Haven, Mi. with her family. She calls her paintings nature abstracted. The human connection to nature inspires her paintings and pottery. She extrapolates the simple forms and colors that she finds in plant life and the landscape. She uses an exaggerated scale, movement, and patterns to deliver a healing message through her work. She is encouraging us to take notice of the beauty in the world around us. Her work is in many public and private collections.
Where sparks your inspiration?
All kinds of things inspire me but mostly nature and color.
What is your favorite medium you been using lately?
I love working with oil. It has such a lovely buttery feeling. Lately, I have been playing around with mixed media applications
What started you down the path of creating fine art?
I started in the craft realm making pottery. But when I lost my access to a kiln and place to throw my pots. I missed creating, so I started painting. Creating gives me a sense of purpose and expression. It is how I stay regulated. It is where my joy, anxiety, and grief can rest. I get lost in a meditative state while working. It is an escape for me.
What have you been working on lately?
I am always striving to make a better painting. Recently I have been working on my M.F.A. Thesis exhibition. Today I will start the final two pieces. Blues and Orange. Two large scale circle paintings. I also have a few small commissions that I will create for collectors.
What advice do you have for up and coming artists?
Just do the work and follow the little treads of ideas even if you don’t know where they will take you. No path should be left unexplored. You can edit the work after you make it. Just make it.
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