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Feeling the flow 

Virginia Maitland lets love, color gush onto huge canvases

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Virginia Maitland doesn't wear her heart on her sleeve; she pours it out all over her canvases to create stunning, ethereal works of art that "express an emotional bond with life and nature."

"My paintings are large," says Maitland, a nationally renowned abstract expressionist from Boulder. "I put the canvas on the floor and start pouring paint, lifting and tilting. It is a very physical process."

In 28 paintings spanning her career, Maitland explores the relationships between nature and art, life and meaning, beauty and paint in Floating Worlds by Virginia Maitland. It's the first solo exhibit in more than a decade at the newly remodeled Gallery of Contemporary Art at UCCS.

One featured painting, "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Rose," was one of Maitland's first poured works, back in 1975. "I remember the feeling of pouring my heart out as I bent over the canvas," she says. "The rose represents my heart bursting with joy."

Maitland combines materials to add to the veils and transparencies of flowing paint. But she keeps the process loose; she is an artist who follows her passion and allows her muse to flow through her. It's not difficult to imagine her as the 12-year-old girl she was when she discovered the physical joy of oil painting.

"Wearing a smock, beautiful colors, getting paint all over myself, the smell of turpentine, cleaning brushes ..." she remembers. "Oil painting seemed like the real thing."


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Floating Worlds by Virginia Maitland

UCCS Gallery of Contemporary Art, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy.

Show runs through Nov. 17.

Gallery hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1-4 p.m. For more information, call 262-3567.

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