Happy Monday, friends! We are excited to introduce you to a new artist joining the Well + Wonder crew! Meet Maggie Perrin-Key! Maggie lives and works in Roanoke, Virginia, a mountain town where she is inspired by living so closely with nature. She received her BA in Studio Art from Hollins University in 2017, and has maintained her studio practice since. Maggie began painting murals professionally in 2019, which changed how she thinks about space and sculpture, and greatly the way she paints. Focusing on bodies of work around a core conceptual idea, Maggie's varying mediums flow one into the other, informing the work she makes and her subject matter - which draw from memories, plant life, and visual representations of energy. Maggie's inaugural Well + Wonder release launched tomorrow, but keep reading to learn a little bit more about this fabulous artist. 

What is currently on your nightstand?

Just a lamp - I’m trying to remove all unnecessary objects from my bedroom because I have a hard time sleeping, and I’ve read that having a very tidy room can help! 

Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?

That’s such a hard question to answer! Wow, hmm - I would have to say my painting professor from college, Elise Schweitzer. She’s an incredible artist and an excellent teacher. She’s been my biggest influence because she taught me how to paint and see; I still hear her voice in my head when I’m working or repeat to myself the essential feedback she gave me as a student.

Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?

My brightest memories are the ones I spent playing outside. I was born and raised in a small city in a valley surrounded by mountains, so nature was all around us all the time. I grew up playing in the neighborhood creeks with my best friend, getting poison ivy, and wandering around a 90 acre wood across from my adolescent home. I always felt safe and welcome among the trees. 

If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?

You can do so much with paper - you can draw on it, paint on it, sculpt it, make it 3-d - make sounds! It’s so versatile.

What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.

My favorite room in my house is my porch. I live on the third story of an apartment building built in the early 1900’s, and I have a really spacious screened-in porch that faces the West. I get a gorgeous view of the sunset beyond a skyline of trees and mountains. I sit on a pink velvet Victorian couch my old roommate found on the nextdoor app, surrounded by my many plants, and listen to the cicadas. In the fall and spring I sit out there with my coffee and a blanket. It’s like being in a treehouse - it’s so dreamy I can hardly believe I get to enjoy it every day!

What is your biggest score online?

I recently found a set of two flat file cabinets on Facebook Marketplace for $75. They were super well taken care of because they had been used by an architecture firm, and they were just trying to get rid of them because they were moving. I could hardly believe it! I feel like every artist I know knows the value of a clean flat file 😂

What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?

My recommendation for anyone new to buying art would be - don’t be afraid! Art is not this scary thing that you have to understand, or unlock some secret to be a part of the club. If you like it, that’s all you need to know. If you love it and can’t stop thinking about it and it’s in your budget? Maybe it’s time to consider bringing that piece of art home to live with you.

If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?

Probably the Louvre. For one, it’s huge and there’s just so much to see. I had the chance to visit it on a school trip when I was a teenager, and I would just love to go back and take my time. Plus I love ancient art and artifacts and they have a huge collection.

What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?

I think the Quirk Hotel in Charlottesville, VA is the best hotel I’ve stayed in. They have a sister hotel in Richmond, and both are centered around art. The whole building is filled with art by local, national, and international artists. The rooms, the restaurants, the common areas all feature artwork, installations and murals. There’s a gallery with monthly rotating exhibits, community events, a curated gift shop, and the entire hotel was clearly decorated with design in mind.

If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?

Red! I love red and have always been drawn to red lipstick. There’s something mystical and powerful about red lipstick that I just love. 

I can never get on a plane without….

If nothing else, I can distract myself with a movie or lull myself to sleep with music.

How did you get into the world of art?

In my local art community I started attending exhibit openings and art events, participating in shows, and just being present in the art scene as soon as I graduated from school. This is how I met everyone I know in my community and how I’ve gotten a lot of my local opportunities!

What do you do to relax?

My favorite way to unwind is to take a long, hot bath with epsom salts and oils. But a daily practice that helps me relax in a more long-term way is walking.

When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?

Usually after traveling or going to a museum, or seeing some art that really moves me.

Prediction for the Color of 2024?

haha I have no clue! I’m always surprised at what the color is each year. Let’s say…dark brown. A rich burnt umber. 

What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?

I’m a total homebody most of the time, so when it comes to dates I want activities and adventure! I want to do something fun and new, and have a different experience with my honey.

Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.

That’s another tough one, there’s quite a few I really love. I think my favorite one right now is a small painting of my friend Catherine. She posted a selfie on instagram one day a couple of years ago, zoomed it out so there was a gradient background, and placed a strawberry emoji above it. I thought it was so pretty and fresh, and loved the colors, so I took a screenshot and painted it. I’m drawn to the in-between spaces of our world, and a painting of a screenshot of a selfie lives in a place between digital and physical. It’s of the technology age, and yet being that I painted it with oil paint in traditional techniques on wood, it’s of another age as well.

One piece of advice for buying original art?

Buy what you love! And if something speaks to you, snag it before it gets away. The wonderful thing about original art is that there’s only one in the whole world!