Maria Burtis’ paintings are born of a conversation between the artist’s physical action and internal stillness. An initial transfer of energy with marks, washes, brushstrokes, and drips leads to a process of editing through adding, obscuring, and revealing. Burtis deliberately keeps the painting open and unresolved for as long as possible, dwelling in uncertainty and pushing the edge of her understanding, while remaining present throughout. The result produces paintings with richly layered surfaces and an underlying history that exudes breath, depth, and life. Burtis’ work is both personal and universal; her subject matter is highly influenced by the natural world, but the true landscape she paints is an internal one. Her goal is to reach the viewer on a somatic level, inviting them to discover their own truth, freedom, and openness.
Daily practices are essential to Burtis, and since 2005, the artist has made one small painting a day. She collects bits of visual information and experiments with different media and subject matter in these daily meditations. Now totaling over 6500 works on paper, the daily paintings seamlessly feed her larger abstract paintings and collages.
Burtis holds a BA from Carleton College where she studied Religion and Art History, and a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art where she graduated with distinction in the Painting major. Her work is collected widely and is in private and corporate collections. She has exhibited nationally in galleries and juried shows as well as at the de Young Museum of Art in San Francisco. She lives in San Francisco and her studio is in Sausalito.