About Thea Maia

My name is Thea Maia and I don’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t doing some form of art. I am the forth out of five generations (so far) of women with college art degrees who have become artists and art educators.

In my freshman year of college, I became the first Presidential Scholarship student in the long history of the University of Southern California to both major in Art and become a member of their prestigious Honor’s Program.

Coming home to the Northwest, I completed my art degree and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Washington Magna Cum Laude. I went on to become the youngest artist to be accepted into the MFA Painting program at the University of Washington in 1988. I received my Master of Fine Arts in 1990, after winning 5 positions as teaching assistant for Beginning Drawing and Art Education for Teachers Continuing Education.

Starting when I was eighteen, I began to work in Visual Merchandising for a Department Store. Over the years, I have done in store visual merchandising for Frederick and Nelson (at four stores, including murals for in store department displays), Events Northwest (I produced table centerpieces for a WA Governor’s Ball and painted an award winning display shown at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show), Display and Costume Supply (designed and created in store seasonal displays and convention booths décor), Wizard’s of the Coast (company party decor, product launch events decor and convention displays), freelance restaurant decor, Daniel Smith Artist’s Materials (company party décor and in store displays).

This led directly to a twenty year collaboration with my artist/musician husband Eric Maia in business to design and create event décor, displays and unique props for clients that include Microsoft, PepsiCo, QFC, Bill Nye the Science Guy, WOMAD, Plant Amnesty, Sound Nonviolent Opponents to War and Gothic Charm School. We also work on wedding ceremonies and receptions, birthday parties and memorials.

I took my first individual painting student at the recommendation of Professor Emeritus and world-renowned artist Jacob Lawrence. I have conducted employee training in art materials for Display and Costume Supply and Daniel Smith Artist’s Materials. I have taught art on a volunteer basis to children as young as four to adults of all ages.

I use, teach and demonstrate in a broad range of art materials. These include: oils, water-miscible oils, watercolors, acrylics, monotype and linoleum block printmaking, graphite, ink, Sumi-e, pastel and charcoal drawing, clay, paper and cloth mache sculpture, life-casting in plaster, egg tempera, wax encaustic, ceramic glazing, fabric painting and hand-carved stamps. I have worked on a wide range of surfaces: paper, canvas, glass, metal, leather, ceramic, Concrete, cotton, silk, rayon, wood, plastic, Plexiglas and human skin.

I have painted art pieces as small as 4” x 6” (a portrait series of 100 paintings) and murals as wide as 18’ and 10’ high. And I have collaborated to create props as tall as 2 stories and as wide as 35’. I was lucky enough to create illustrations for a Wizards of the Coast game Vampire the Eternal Struggle: The Sabbat expansion that was distributed worldwide.

I am currently disabled. This has led me to limit my work to non-toxic materials for painting and sculpting, and my sculptures, paintings and drawings are on a smaller scale. I have recently, due to the unique and amazing website Polyvore, begun to create collage art online that has been viewed over 60,000 times, by viewers from all over the world.

I am very happy to create work on a commission basis. Feel free to inquire. I currently specialize in, but am not limited to, portraiture.