Maria Maggi once pictured Valentine’s Day as lacy hearts signed by classmates of her childhood or as a small group of a cappella singers at her front door singing “My Funny Valentine” in four-part harmony.But now, Valentine’s Day is a landmark of a different sort for Moscow’s Maggi.
Feb. 14, 1996, will forever be the cold and icy day her neurologist told Maggi she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
But Valentine’s Day can be remembered in other ways, she said.
In 2008, she chose to make Valentine’s the day she switched to a plant-based and oil-free diet to improve her health and condition. Years later, she writes for fatfreevegan.com and her own blog, Plant-Based Slow Motion Miracle, which has more than 1,300 “likes” on Facebook.
This Valentine’s Day, Maggi is scheduled to share her art at the Moscow Food Co-Op’s February show.
“It’s serendipitous,” Maggi said from a window seat in the Co-op cafe, with her service dog, Romeo, at her feet. “I feel so blessed that’s how I get to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.”
Maggi has done art since her youth. She took private art lessons at age 12, and would attend art shows with her teacher and mentor, who showed her painting details and techniques.
But Maggi never really shared her art. She finally got the guts to share her work after Susan Voisin, of Fat Free Vegan, pressured her to use art as a banner for the Slow Miracle blog.
More pressure came years ago, when Maggi was making copies of her art from a spiral bound notebook at a copy shop. She ran into Annie Hubble, who organizes the Co-op cafe art shows. Hubble happened to see Maggi’s drawing as she was putting it away and said she should show her work at the Co-op. Maggie objected.
“Well, someday then,” Hubble told her. “Take your time and let me know.”
Maggi knew it was time to share her work after KRFP radio put out a call for artists to participate in Moscow’s ArtWalk in June. Maggi displayed her work, and after mentioning the show to Hubble, she was signed up to display her work at the Co-op without question.
“Annie’s been a really wonderful support,” Maggi said.
The art show will include works made with watercolors, chalk pastels and graphite sticks in a range of sizes. Maggi also sells greeting cards in the gift section of the Co-op. Her Valentine designs include pomegranates, and Romeo overlapped with a rose and poem.
“I try to see and draw and paint the light of things,” Maggi said. “It lines me right up with my soul, so there’s no dissonance or discontinuity. It’s completely absorbing.”
A reception for Maggi and her work is 5:30-7 p.m. Friday. The show runs through March 12.
“I notice little things. I like little things. I paint little things,” Maggi said.
And just like her Valentine’s anniversary, she said, “Maybe little things aren’t so little.”
Treffry can be contacted at (208) 883-4640 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @LindseyTreffry.
->if you go:
WHAT: Maria Maggi’s artwork reception
WHERE: Moscow Food Co-op cafe
WHEN: 5:30-7 p.m. Friday
COST: Free. Maggi’s art can be purchased at fatfreevegan.com/slowmiracle/shop.