Maggie Joseph is a freshman Augusta homeschool student who loves redemptive stories, good food and making things beautiful. She was born in Dothan, AL and moved to Augusta eight years ago. The oldest of five including two sisters and two brothers, she loves sketching and all things art. Her favorite books are The Fellowship of the Ring, A Severe Mercy, and Stepping Heavenward. 

When did your interest in watercolor painting start?
I’ve loved art for as long as I can remember. My mom used to let me paint with watercolors when I was a toddler. I can still remember those big blocks of Prang watercolors.

What do you enjoy about watercolor? What is most challenging?
Watercolor flows naturally and forces a level of freedom I struggle to find in other mediums. When I use watercolors I have to constantly remind myself to think about the values. It’s easy to make a mistake— and nearly impossible to correct one. Watercolor forces me to turn mistakes into beauty. Because there isn’t white paint to put on my brush when I use watercolors, I have to consider what parts of the paper to leave white before my brush ever touches the paper. Keeping that at the front of my mind is a constant challenge.

Describe one of your favorite personal paintings and why?
I painted a magnolia flower several years ago that I love. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for any type of magnolia. As a young child in Dothan we had a huge Japanese Magnolia that used to cover our front yard in pink and white petals. My great grandmother tells stories of growing up with tables laden with magnolias and how delicate their blooms were. And of course, there’s the southern classic, Steel Magnolias. It’s hard to grow up in the South and not love magnolias!

What do you hope to communicate to others through your art?
Create! And don’t be afraid! For years I’ve struggled with fear of what others may think of what I paint… fear so palpable it has left me in tears with brushes in hand, terrified to make the next stroke. I find myself afraid that what I create will be rejected and I struggle not to tie my worth to my art. I am learning art is not about others’ acceptance of me. I have freedom to create and freedom in who I am because I know that I don’t have to attain perfection to enjoy painting or to glorify God through my art. I hope when others see my art they are inspired to create without fear.