My name is Maria Arias, I was born in Venezuela, and I started painting at the age of 8 years old. Because of the hard schedule of the school I went to, I stopped painting at the age of 12.
I followed engineering studies and graduated in 2003. The next year I moved to France, running away from the chaos of my country and leaving everything behind.
I arrived in France with nothing, not even the knowledge of the French language. I finished doing my masters and got a Ph.D. in chemistry.
In 2007, I moved to the Netherlands where I could finally feel at home again; I started doing more for animal rights, I also started dancing flamenco, and got a job as a Chemical Engineer.
Then, after moving, I found I could settle, and I stopped delaying my dreams.
I did an acrylic course at Colorato.com to refresh, and I started learning other techniques by myself and did Masterclasses with Marjolein Kruijt and Marissa Oosterlee, among other great artists.
As an animal defender
During an exhibition in 2007 at the Gallery Codex Nicaragüa, A man pretending to be an artist presented a “work” that made me wake up and decide that actions shall be taken from now on to help animals. In a gallery, he exposed a stray malnourished, and scary dog to the visitors. The dog was part of his art, and on the wall, it was written with dog food “You are what you read.” This crazy and sadic man left the dog starving and dehydrated to probe the indifference of people. I couldn’t believe it! At that moment I start some campaigns to help animals, one of my drives was http://semanadelanimal.blogspot.nl/, I have been helping groups of people I like to call my Idols because they rescue animals and help them to get a second chance in life.
As an artist
I never stop being an artist; only I wasn’t painting all the time. I always joined creative events like theater at school, university, making videos, or posters to help animals get adopted.
Moving from one country to another requires some time to adjust, my work absorbed me, and I sometimes closed my eyes to all the other things in life.
When my cat Kriska (My black and white cat) got sick with breast cancer, I start reading about animal communication and begin doing some healing meditations on her. Her behaviors changed so much (she was a tiger before), so we had the best moments together at that time. After that, I continued growing a bit more spiritually, and with Toby, our new cat, I was so inspired to create. It is difficult to mark a starting point. Still, it is undoubtedly related to me growing spiritually and the arrival of Toby that the blockage I had about painting start disappearing.
Animals and primarily, our animal companions deserve that we honor them. I want all the animals that we treat them like kings or at least with respect.
When making an artwork, sometimes I can connect with the animal I am painting. Sometimes I feel things, and I change my behavior, sometimes I see the animal walking around me, I am still learning how to recognize what belongs to me and what is coming from the animal, this is a magic moment, I feel safe and loved. It is incredible, and it makes me feel so happy. That experience allows me to bring character to the animal.
My message is: Animals are so much more than we can ever imagine!!!
Believe they are much more than you think, and you will open the door to the most fulfilling love experience.