HOME AS A SANCTUARY

by ROBIN HOWARD

WE LIVE IN A CHAOTIC WORLD, but when you’re home, you’re safe,” artist Vicki P. Maguire tells her sons. I feel like her mantra should be broadcast from Jumbotrons right now.

By design, Maguire’s peaceful, ethereal oil and acrylic paintings make people feel good. She humbly says her goal is to “take the beauty of the outdoors and bring it indoors.” Her work does more than that because her intentions are more than that. She is a devoted creative professional, reassuring teacher and advocate.

Jasmine, Acrylic and mixed media, 24″ x 24″

Maguire began her painting career as a plein air artist. She has been blessed to live all over this beautiful country—giving her many perspectives. When she was designing the interiors of her Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, home after living out West, she planned a space over the mantel in the family room specifically for art. Although she and her husband were already collecting fine art, they wanted something different and contemporary. At the time, the inventory of contemporary art was limited in Charleston, but the couple finally found a piece from New Mexico. “We bought it, and we loved it. It spoke to me,” Maguire says. That’s when she decided she was going to learn to paint high-end abstracts. “I pursued teachers that painted in a way I liked,” she says. “I expanded my abstract expressions to a more intuitive style using so many new tools: rollers, my fingers, scrapers, sponges, texture and graphite tools. It’s not like painting in the old days!” As time permits, she has small workshops on color theory (another passion) and mixing oils while using palette knives.

Maguire is one of those people for whom creating art almost seems like a by-product of a larger and higher calling. She is an accomplished artist, but she is also powerfully intuitive, remarkably sincere and generously empathetic. Her good intentions for the world convey on a quantum level. She was invited to be a juried member of The Healing Power of Art and Artists (HPAA), operated by Manhattan Arts International.

Folly Pier, Oil, 16″ x 16″

Maguire says she first connected art with health and healing as she began working with her son, who was an auditory-delayed learner. “There was no program in Charleston that was a good fit for him. He wasn’t special needs enough for a special-needs school, but he needed more than public school,” Maguire says.

She decided to teach him herself. “I found the best way to teach him was to do things tactilely,” Maguire says. “Then, to break up our lessons, I set up an art station for him and one for me in the same space. He had his own materials and would do quick draw contests. That would wake him up and use the other side of his brain. Over time, it made a big difference in our time together and in his willingness and ability to learn. By the third year, when he was about 7, he was able to go to first grade. He’s thrived and graduated with scholarships from college. He was using a different part of the brain, and that’s what art does.”

Unspoken Affection, Oil with cold wax, 36″ x 36″; Over the Moon, Oil with cold wax on cradle board, 16″ x 16″; Blue Prism, Oil, 24″ x 24″

A breast cancer survivor, Maguire has donated work to MUSC Hollings Cancer Center. She has also won several national awards, including South Carolina Artist of the Year in 2016 from the fine arts organization Twin Cities Tosca. She paints for Blink Fine Art in Cincinnati and works with designers and clients. Her work hangs in several corporate collections and was even featured on the promotional poster for the Bruce Willis movie Glass. She’s honored by the recognition, but it’s not what drives her.

“Why do I paint?” she asks. “I paint for myself. I paint for others. And I paint for healing. The world is very chaotic; there will always be struggles, but home is a sanctuary space. I want to create paintings that make people happy!”

Good Vibrations, Oil, 24″ x 24″

Aside from her website, Maguire’s artwork is available at adcfineart.com and manhattanarts.com.

Robin Howard is a full-time freelance writer in Charleston. See more of her work at robinhowardwrites.com.