Paxton Maroney is relatively new to the Art Con family, with this year’s SKEWED seed event marking her first entry, a breathtaking surreal photograph titled “Slipping Away.” She first learned of Art Conspiracy a couple of years ago through a high-school friend and fellow artist, Lisa (Lindholm) Rasley. “I didn’t fully understand what Art Con was all about until my husband and I attended our first auction at Art Con 9,” she says. “It’s such an amazing cause, and we even fell in love with a piece of art and ended up with the highest bid. It still sits on my desk in my office.” Then, early this year, another local artist whom Paxton admires and who, incidentally, is also a member of the Art Con executive team, Haylee Ryan invited her to participate in SKEWED. “I was honored, and completely freaked out,” she admits. “ I am fairly new to the art scene. What if no one bid on it? Every artist’s nightmare.” But, of course, her piece drew a remarkable final bid, Paxton had a “fantastic” first experience, and she has officially embraced the movement. “The auction on my work was thrilling, and to know that it was going toward a great event was such a good feeling,” she says. “I’m very much looking forward to Art Con 11, especially with who the beneficiary will be.”
Aside from helping her break a little further out of her creative shell, “Art Con has introduced me to a family of artists who I highly respect and can now call friends,” she says. “Art Conspiracy really does want to help promote you and your work, and giving back to local creative programs is something I am a huge fan of.” And she has loved working together with so many artists who are all, not only creating together, but also working together to bring change to their community. And she at least partially credits Art Con with allowing her to do that. “They accomplish exactly what their mission statement proclaims,” she says. “‘Art Conspiracy is a nonprofit community that conspires to bring artists and musicians together, raise funds, and activate awareness for regional creative programs and causes.’ And the do that very well.”
Paxton may consider herself “new to the art scene,” but art and creation have long been a part of who she is and who she wanted to be. “I have been attracted to painting and drawing since I was very little,” she says. “I still have fond memories of the crayola caddy set my parents got me in the 1980s. Art has always been an outlet for me.” She began entering open shows as a painter in the mid 2000s, but then, with a simple gesture, her means of expression took a turn. “In 2008 I was gifted my first DSLR camera by my husband, and my world changed,” she says. “It sparked something in me.” Photography is now her primary medium, and she is entirely self taught. Something she says she cherishes, as it forces her to constantly study the dynamic artform. And at the end of the day, she doesn’t see her shift from painting to photography as much of a change at all beyond the learning curve. “This medium is forever changing and progressing, which means I am always learning,” she says. “I now digitally paint using photographs. At least, that’s how I like to describe it.”
When trying to describe how she came to be an artist, Paxton falters a bit and circles back to the notion that she is a newcomer to the scene, and yet an artist at heart. “It was never one event in my life that dictated ‘this is what I am to be,’” she says. “It was the winding path that led me here. Being an artist has always been a dream of mine, and it wasn’t until recently that I have realized the dream could become a reality.” And now, as a full-time artist and designer, living and working in Arlington, TX, her dream truly has become her reality. “I do freelance work on top of creating my own personal artwork and spending time entering exhibitions,” she says. “Currently I have a piece in a show in Providence, RI, as well as other upcoming events.”
You can learn more about this budding young artist, find out about her past and upcoming exhibits, and view some of her stunning photography by visiting her website at www.paxtonmaroney.com and following her on Facebook. Plus, don’t forget to come see her and perhaps bid on her work at Art Con 11, this Saturday, November 14.
Written By: Martha Belden