Maria-Grossbaum was born in Russia, industrial city of Perm in Western Urals. Brought up during communism time when borders were closed to foreigners, she describes the city as ‘old with mysterious spirit of ancient culture’
Maria was surrounded by art since she remembers ‘I was exposed to creation since very early age. My mum was an artist and she was taking me to local galleries where I learnt about classic art, old church icons, sculptures etc. I loved visiting my grandparents who were interior designers, whenever I went to see them in their studio located in rounded tower at the outskirts of Perm, I felt like in heaven. The place was full of paints, brushes, stamps, pencils, different types of textured paper and canvases. So while I was growing up I was painting and drawing’
She was growing up dreaming to become an artist and she did everything to follow the path. She never gave up. After a few unsuccessful attempts to get to art school, she was finally accepted to the Institute of Fine arts in Tel Aviv.
‘I studied commercial art, graphic design and animation. This profession helped me to find a job in Toronto and in 2000 I moved to Canada. At that time, I didn’t create at all, I was focused on improving my graphic design skills.
The turning point came in eight years later when I became a freelance graphic designer and was involved more in art and creating abstract on canvas. That reminded me how much I loved painting.
Returning to art was an amazing experience and I couldn’t understand what took me so long and why I wasn’t listening to my inner voice’.
While Maria was making her dream, of becoming an artist, come true and was polishing her artistic silks she also learnt how to play the bass guitar. Music was always her big passion. In 2010 she went on a tour to England and States with her band. She also participated in a few big art shows in Toronto, which gave her the confidence to work harder to achieve her goals.
‘2011 was the year of changes and challenges, I am grateful for those challenges as they brought me to the place where I am right now. My daughter was born that year and I had to go back to work to be able to support my family. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed, I realised that I need to find an alternative way to make money and to do what I love. Response from the Universe came really quickly and soon I became a mixed media teacher. At first, I had mixed feelings about revealing my know-hows and professional secrets but then I realised how different we all are. Our interpretation of beauty and perception of the world might differ in so many ways.
I kept my day job as a graphic designer and was a teacher at weekends. Soon I opened an online mixed media school which gave me a lot of flexibility and opportunity to grow as an artist, meet new people and travel. Finally, I quit my day job at the corporation and created my first mix media course, which was positively received’.
While having everything in control, teaching, being an artist and having her dreams come true, Maria found out that she had serious health problems that stopped her for a moment. At first, she was devastated, shocked with no energy to create left. ‘Being surrounded by very supportive friends and family and inspired by stories sent by my students I started using art as therapy. The more I painted, the more I saw the purpose in life again, not just as an art teacher, but as someone who helps others through art. That was truly amazing discovering’.
This is how Abyssimo was born, mixed media technique that is very therapeutic. It helped Maria and her students to go through very rough and difficult times. Word “Abyssimo” was created by the artist herself and comes from the abyss. I wanted a name that would reflect vast endlessness, like sky or ocean. That also connects to what I am inspired by the most – nature and natural light. I’m endlessly inspired by its beauty. That’s why I use in my paintings objects that attract light, glass, crystals, rhinestones and semiprecious stones.
Right now, I want to take it to the next level and organize art retreats in beautiful areas of our amazing planet. We just need to wait for the current situation to calm down.
I strongly believe that art can save people from depression, health problems, solitude and any sorts of troubles and pain. Art helps us to reconnect with ourselves in many different levels. It took me 42 years to understand it and find myself. Now I’m here for you all. Mixed Media totally rules!’.
Article by Maria-Grossbaum