About Maria Abeyesekere
Sri Lankan award winning artist (b. 1970) whose unique style is done by classical realism says that she inherited this talent of hers from her family as there had been several ancestors who have excelled in this field before her. After quitting her career in Marketing, she made the switch to full-time painting when she became a housewife two decades ago. Ever-since, she has been living amongst the wilderness of Central highlands of Sri Lanka with her husband and son. She says the serenity and the scenic beauty of where she is, makes the perfect environment for her to paint more.
Her art is held in private collections across the world since she sold her 1st award winning painting for Best Young Artist in 1990 to Dr. Ian Goonetileke, who was a renowned scholar, art collector and art critic in Sri Lanka, donated his art collection to the University of Peradeniya before his death in 2003. She says as a young artist it was an honour for her to be included in his collection amongst distinguished artists like George Keyt.
On a note of her creativity Maria said: "As long as I can remember I have been a humble student of art in all its manifestations, am used to drawing or painting things that I am attracted to and have always been fascinated by realism in art. My ancestral homes were full of artefacts and portraits of my ancestors painted by European painters in the colonial era. I have spent some of the happiest hours of my life looking at pictures and objects, both originals and reproductions of artists of various cultures and periods. It is an exercise I can recommend to anyone who is in the least sensitive to line, form, colour and composition. To me, art is a special sort of language and it is impossible to appreciate or begin to understand it unless one learns the rules of grammar & composition which painters employ. It is a hard and demanding discipline to succeed in realism into a painting. It needs devotion, patience and practice and lazy minds cannot even pretend to like or dislike any sort of picture, good , bad or indifferent, except in the most superficial and insignificant way."
For the last 20 years she has held 15 solo shows, participated at international Juried exhibitions and has been awarded many times for her work locally and internationally. She won 'Best Portrait of the Show' in 1993, Frankfurt Germany at the very first international juried exhibition she engaged in.
She was invited for the following international shows 2021 & 22 but due to the pandemic and the current situation of Sri Lanka, she was unable to participate.
Invited to represent Sri Lanka at the Dubai Art Expo 2021
2nd Art for Art International Virtual Art Exhibition 2021, Oyster Art Gallery Pakistan
4th Annual Gala 2022 ,Quinlan Visual Arts Center, Gainesville, GA.
Lisboa International Contemporary Exhibition in October 2022
8th Edition of Downtown Chiado International Contemporary Exhibition , Lisbon from 5th February 2022
Clio Art Fair 2022 in Los Angeles & New York
2021 & 2022 Exhibitions participated and to be
In the near future - Linked INNYC Women of the World organized by South Art Dealer
Oct. 2021 participated at the NOAPS 2021 Associate online juried exhibition