Featured Artist Maria Morales

Artist Maria Morales shares a dynamic abstract portfolio and a story of overcoming conventions to find her true inspiration. Learn more by visiting her website.


abstract acrylic painting titled After the Rain

“After the Rain” acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 30″


I was born in Portugal and came to the U.S. as a small child. My culture and family instilled a sense of place in the world that’s taken many years to recognize and break from somewhat. As a woman, the push and ingrained mindset was to not cause friction, be pleasing and nice, get married, and have a home and family. This was the path women were supposed to take and the correct thing to do.


painting of three oranges on abstract background

“The Three Amigos” acrylic on wood, 12″ x 12″


I had a wonderful family that was always there for me. But as immigrants who did not speak the language, there was no attitude of venturing out, experiencing the world, and forging your own path. That was not encouraged or frankly recognized as an alternative. Quite often I butted heads with my parents. I was the outspoken rebellious one, not really what they were equipped to deal with.


floral acrylic painting

“White Peony” acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 30″


I was the first in my family to go to college, and an art school in New York City at that. Talk about an adventure! I loved every minute of it. I attended Parson’s School of Design and received a BFA in Illustration.


colorful abstract acrylic painting

“Night Walk” acrylic on wood, 12″ x 12″


Those years in the early eighties were a wonderful time for me, even though New York City itself was going through some tumultuous changes. I was immersed in art making, surrounded by other artists from all backgrounds, and having conversations about how what we were doing was important and how we would change the world (or so we thought).


still life painting of a pear on abstract background

“Quiet as a Shadow” acrylic on wood, 12″ x 12″


I got married after graduation to a fellow Illustration major. We have four wonderful children and a recent grandchild. I ended up in the corporate world in a variety of tech and graphic artist positions. Not exactly creative, but within the periphery of creativity. Throughout this time, I always painted. Sometimes I had more time, and other times less, but the desire was always there.


abstract acrylic painting diptych

“Foundation Building Blocks” (diptych) acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 40″ each panel


Of course, my supposed to mindset meant that I painted realistically. The correct medium to use was oil paints. This is what a “real” artist did. I painted realistically for 30+ years before abstraction started to slowly make its way into my work. It started in the background and slowly crept its way in, more and more.


abstract floral painting of a tulip

“Tulip Sorbet” acrylic on wood, 12″ x 12″


After many years of working in a realistic style, I transitioned to abstract painting. The pandemic changed our thinking, and during that period I decided to go for it. Creating abstract work allows more freedom and opportunity to showcase feelings, intuition, ideas, and individual expression.


Vibrantly colored acrylic abstract painting

“Evening Solitude” acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 40″


Transitioning from representational artwork to abstract has been challenging and exciting. My latest pieces have been transformational for me. Some still incorporate realism and others are totally abstract. I want to further explore making my art a mixture of both.


abstract floral acrylic painting

“Soulful Harmony” acrylic on wood, 12″ x 12″


I’m excited by the rich history in the work, the marks I’m making, and the happier, joyous “me” that is starting to appear. I am feeling the joy of expressing what I like and letting the colors and shapes run free.


Maria Morales invites you to follow her on Saatchi Art and Instagram.



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  1. These are very imaginative. Night Walk is my favorite.

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