I believe in art as a tool for exploration, observation, and scientific inquiry.

I work in the tradition of traveling artists as naturalists and educators. Since 2005, I have focused on painting polar and glaciated regions where I have often collaborated with scientific teams. In the field, I sketch with ink and watercolor, and collect multimedia recordings to build my palette of place, a record of experience, climate, and color. I develop this work into studio paintings for exhibit as well as presentations and workshops for audiences of all ages to cultivate observation, scientific inquiry, and environmental awareness.

My interest in field art and science was first inspired by artists such as Edward Wilson in Antarctica, Emily Carr in British Columbia, Thomas Moran in the American West. It was further piqued by two summers with the Juneau Icefield Research Program (’99, ’03) and through my education at Carleton College (class of ’04) where I majored in studio art and painted in West Africa and the South Pacific. After graduation, I was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to travel around the world for one year to pursue my project, “Ties to the Land, Exploring Remote Regions through Art.” Since then I have continued to travel and paint through artist-in-residence and scientific opportunities.

I currently live in Seattle with my husband Darin Reid, an independent web developer.

Maria and Darin