By Holly Pilcavage - For Weekender

The NEPA Creative Series: Madison Township artist creates using pastels

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Maria Montoro-Edwards creates landscapes and figures using pastels.
Submitted photo
Maria Montoro-Edwards of Madison Township said she knew she had a passion for art when she would organized her Crayola crayons as a young girl.
Submitted photo
Madison Township artist Maria Montoro-Edwards is the 18th creative in Coal Creative’s #NEPACreative series.
Courtesy of CoalCreative

The 18th #NEPACreative is Maria Montoro-Edwards from Madison Township. Maria brings creativity to the area through pastel landscapes and figures.

She always knew art would be part of her life.

“I think the Crayola box of 64 crayons started my passion for art. I loved to receive a new box and couldn’t wait to rearrange the box by color and value! I still do the same with my pastel box today,” Montoro-Edwards said. “True disclosure, I did not like my siblings using my crayons and mixing them up.”

Maria’s favorite place to paint is outside or “en plein air.”

“There is a peace that comes over me when I set up the easel on a beach or along a lake,” Montoro-Edwards said.

When she paints on-site, she typically refrains from reworking back in the studio.

“I will often take photos and complete small color studies on site and use these as reference for larger paintings done in the studio.”

While at home, Maria loves to paint with music on. On the contrary, when she paints outside, she would rather hear nature’s sounds. Maria also admitted that she likes to enjoy a glass of wine while working.

“My outside setup includes a portable easel, umbrella to fasten on the easel for the sun, small table for the pastel box, lots of clips to secure everything from the wind, and insect spray,” Montoro-Edwards said. “Everything has straps so I can make one trip from the car. Pastel is easily marred by water so if it starts to rain, I am done.”

Maria is constantly inspired by where she lives and her surroundings. She explained that Madison Township has a lot of farms, creeks, rolling hills and mountain views for subjects. She is always amazed how the changing light impacts a scene and how the same location is entirely different at various times during the day.

Her favorite artists are Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, and Edgar Degas all of whom worked in pastel. Fun fact: Cassatt was born in PA.

“I have studied with several nationally known pastelists including Margaret Dyer and Susan Oglivie,” Montoro-Edwards said. “Margaret’s work inspires my use of temperature (warm and cool), value, and the application of pastel. Susan’s work influenced my use of composition and design.”

To Maria, being creative means “being true to myself. Being creative is challenging and sometimes frustrating, but it can also open up tremendous joy.”

Maria will be exhibiting her work at First Friday on May 5th at Adezzo in Scranton.

When being considered as an NEPA Creative, individuals are asked to explain how they bring creativity to the area, how long they have been doing it and why, and finally what being creative means to them. Once chosen, the next step is to bring each creative into CoalCreative’s studio space to be filmed for a 60 second video that is shared every Wednesday across all their social media platforms. The series plans to highlight all sorts of creatives throughout the rest of the year. There are no limits to who could be considered. Photographers, musicians, barbers, magicians and improv artists are just a handful of the submissions CoalCreative has received thus far.

Maria Montoro-Edwards creates landscapes and figures using pastels.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_Submitted-by-Maria-1.jpgMaria Montoro-Edwards creates landscapes and figures using pastels. Submitted photo

Maria Montoro-Edwards of Madison Township said she knew she had a passion for art when she would organized her Crayola crayons as a young girl.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_Submitted-by-Maria-3.jpgMaria Montoro-Edwards of Madison Township said she knew she had a passion for art when she would organized her Crayola crayons as a young girl. Submitted photo

Madison Township artist Maria Montoro-Edwards is the 18th creative in Coal Creative’s #NEPACreative series.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_Maria.jpgMadison Township artist Maria Montoro-Edwards is the 18th creative in Coal Creative’s #NEPACreative series. Courtesy of CoalCreative
Madison Twp.artist createsusing pastels

By Holly Pilcavage

For Weekender

To be considered for the series, submit a consideration form at www.coalcreative.com/are-you-a-nepa-creative or send an email to [email protected]

To be considered for the series, submit a consideration form at www.coalcreative.com/are-you-a-nepa-creative or send an email to [email protected]