Catching up with Maria Bennett Hock

Three years has passed since my first guest blogpost with the Military Spouse Fine Art Network and I am so happy to be asked to share what I have been working on this past year.  

My year has been full of unexpected coincidences…the first of which took place in a Harris Teeter (grocery store) parking lot.  I was walking to my car when I noticed a gold star on the back of a van.  For anyone that doesn’t know the gold star indicates that an immediate family member has been killed in the line of duty.  I thought to myself, I wish the person who owns this car would come out so I could express my sorrow for their loss.  As I pushed my cart to the cart return a young woman showed up!  I said my piece as gently as I could and she continued to talk.  We had a great conversation and I gave her my card.  

I follow her on social media and noticed that she has a young daughter around 10 years old.  The daughter is AMAZING.  She noticed homeless people in Raleigh and decided to do something proactive.  She collects money and prepares “necessity” bags for the homeless throughout the area!  She calls it “The Rosie Project”. If you follow me you know I paint Rosie the Riveters…could this be a more perfect scenario for me??? I asked if she would pose for a painting and she agreed.  So I have this painting of her exploding into the world…so powerful…wearing her red kerchief.

 I have painted her three or four time and am currently working on a portrait of Emma with her mom Amy Dozier.  You should definitely follow Amy on social media.  She is an unbelievably strong woman.  I am honored to paint them both.  

I just finished a show at the Colgan Gallery in Northern Virginia where I showcased the painting of my original Rosie the Riveter, Ruby Coberly, who is now 98.  She was able to come to the show and I was so proud to introduce her.  It is truly a highlight of my art journey to have met and been able to paint her portrait.  

My next show will be at the Candy Factory Museum in Old Manassas, Virginia.  I will be featuring both Emma and Ruby’s portraits there along with my other work.  

In between my projects I paint self portraits and paint from life as often as I can.  I love to paint my mom who has dementia…doesn’t remember me but I remember her and painting her makes me smile.  I am so happy to be able to do what I love.

As always I am grateful to the Military Spouse Fine Art Network for continuing to show interest in my journey!  

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