A native New Yorker, Tia Maggio, was formally trained in graphic design and advertising at Pratt Institute, she went on to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, to study fine art and art history.
Even before then, this pastel artist was immersed in the world of art. Her mother, Patricia, attended the Rhode Island School of Design and was a painter and her father, Joseph, “a weekend watercolorist” had his own interior design firm in New York and London. After college, Tia was the director of sales at her father’s firm, during that time she opened and managed their corporate office in London. Later she partnered with her friend Sonja, another Pratt graduate, to form Sontina Graphic Design, where their mainstay was designing company logos.
When children came along, Tia left the corporate world and turned to watercolors and from there to pastels. After advertising she enjoyed the looseness –freedom- of fine art.
She admires German Expressionist Emil Nolde, and artist Wolf Kahn. She loves the untamed wildness of Nolde and in turn the ethereal calm of Wolf Kahn. Inspired, too, by painter Charles Burchfield, she is excited by his fearless vision.
Tia pulls her inspiration from nature as “it is the only thing that really makes sense to me - wild sunsets, storms, brambles and branches.” Once described as a tonalist, she describes herself as a nature based expressionist.
“By cutting up life into glances and emotionally charged interjections rather than formal views, the viewer can fill in the blanks.” Like a good novel, she doesn’t give the story away.
“I like the immediacy of pastels because you can manipulate them with your fingers – and don’t have to wait for paint to dry! I could never really tell you what colors I use, I just reach for them instinctively, like cooking without a recipe – a pinch of this, a splash of that… Creating my art is a personal and intuitive process for me. I don’t like to intellectualize and wax on about my paintings. I start a visual story and let the viewer finish it. Nothing is more pleasing than to hear someone say, ‘oh that reminds me of…’ or ‘this painting makes me feel…’ My creation becomes their story by evoking an emotion or a memory.”
It has been 25 years since Tia move from the Big Apple to (then) rural Loudoun County Virginia, and where she raised her two children, Isabella and Charlie. Currently she resides in bucolic Millwood, a place that has provided much inspiration.
Her pastels of sloping Piedmont hills and skies have been exhibited locally in Northern Virginia and New York City, and are in private collections in the U.S., Italy, Southern France, and most recently, Guatemala