Rhaea Maurel

Rhaea Maurel
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I have worked in different media throughout my lifelong career as an artist. I knew I wanted “to be an artist” at a young age. Inspired by my Great-grandfather Charles Bradford Hudson, an early 1900’s California landscape painter; and bolstered by my parents’ encouragement, I followed my dream throughout high school and college. In community college, I discovered clay – or it discovered me. I was intrigued with the challenge of creating large sculptures in clay. I went on to attend UC Berkeley and studied with Peter Voulkos, well-known ceramic artist and sculptor.

Moving north to the coastal town of Mendocino, I continued with my clay work and added woodworking to my skills. I developed a line of wood sculptures based on the historical buildings in Mendocino, San Francisco and Carmel. A number of galleries throughout Northern and Central California showed my work. As well, I executed both public and private commissions.

I discovered clay – or it discovered me.

Time passed. Traveling in Italy and France opened my eyes to color and light and inspired me to once again pick up the paintbrush. Painting taught me how color can lead to a deeper seeing and listening to oneself.

In a search for more understanding of the creative process, I explored Expressive Arts and Psychology. This led me on a new journey, culminating in a Master’s of Somatic Psychology, with training in Expressive Arts. From this education, I gained new insights and a deeper understanding of myself and the creative process. As a result, my art started to reflect a new freedom and courage.

I bring into my art all that I have learned from the different media…

In my college art classes, I had often observed other students struggling with creativity. The decision to work with others in finding their creative expression required more years of training. Eventually, as a Marriage and Family Therapist, I integrated Body-oriented Psychotherapy and Expressive Arts. I developed a process to support clients in achieving the creative freedom and expression they searched for in their lives.

Today, back “home” on the Monterey Peninsula, where I grew up, I have come full circle. I bring into my art all I have learned from the different media: the form and playfulness from the wood; the color and light from painting; the insights and depths from psychology, and the resilience, receptivity and strength from the clay.

I am creating clay sculptures, some incorporating clay and wood. My wheel-thrown and hand-built pottery serve as a three-dimensional canvases for color, light and playfulness. My sculptures and drawings of dogs reflect my love of animals.

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The charcoal and pastel drawings are another dimension to my work. Moving between drawing and sculpting offers me a challenge to grow as an artist.

Exhibiting my work in local galleries, knowing my work is out in the world encourages me as an artist.

Creativity is a path that can lead us back… to joy.

Teaching gives me deep satisfaction. I find I learn as much from my students as they learn from me. I continue to consult with individuals and groups who seek to free their creative energy and express the fullness of who they are.

Creativity is a path that can lead us back to the essential self, back to joy. Whatever may be blocking us from this natural state of joy is simply there to teach us. When we find the courage to face these “teachers,” we choose mindfulness. We start the process of letting go of resistance and begin allowing our freedom and joy.

This is the gift of creative expression I am so grateful to enjoy and to share with others.