Local Artist Profile Maia Negre

What’s the story behind Maia Negre’s latest tropically inspired Plumeria oil paintings?

By Neal Kearney
May 14, 2024

In this new series, Vibes profiles local artists to get insight into their most recent creations. From inspirations to the process itself, these profiles serve as a way for readers to connect with their favorite local artists on a personal level.

First up, we have the talented Maia Negre, who’s been wowing art lovers for years with her gorgeous oil paintings that combine loose washes and intuitive brush strokes to evoke a sense of magical realism. Here’s what she had to say about her latest series, inspired by dreams of tropical paradise during a long Winter.


These plumerias are an oil painting and the first of a new botanical series. I started painting the plumerias towards the end of our rainy winter in Santa Cruz back in February, and is inspired by the blooming flowers I saw in Mexico last Spring when we stayed with Steve and Renee Coletta.

At the time I painted it, we were nearing 3 months of wet, cold, wintery weather in Santa Cruz and I honestly just started thinking about the physical architecture of this particular flowering plant (the plumeria) moving towards the sun, the way nature designed it to look like a bunch of tiny suns, and its radial structure of opening up towards the light.

Maia and Adam in paradise

Interestingly enough, a few weeks into painting this, we got a call from Chris Gallagher to come out and housesit at Rocky Point on the North Shore of Oahu, while he was in Australia coaching, and the call towards the sunshine manifested! 🙂

Unfortunately for Adam, this meant pulling over and stopping at every single place we went so I could take photos of everything.

With all my work, I’m always trying to evoke a sense of beauty, light, awe, and joy. The way I feel about the things around me gets transmitted through the paint and ultimately the goal is to create more good vibes, everywhere, all the time.

The process of making art generally starts with real life observations, photographs, sketches, and in the final stages, layers of paint in full color on canvas. It’s all a really enjoyable process, and I feel super grateful every day that my journey as an artist has taken me this far. Can’t wait for what’s next!

Be sure to check out www.maianegre.com for prints and more! You can follow Maia’s life and adventures on Instagram @maianegre