Being mindful of the beauty in nature all around is one way that being an artist has changed Maxine Falls’ life.
“It changes the way you look at things,” Falls said.
Falls, who said she always had a desire to paint, picked up her paint brush 18 years ago and began creating unique art. Her initial goal was to create hand-made Christmas presents for her nine sisters and sisters-in-law.
She painted mountain landscapes on basket tops for welcome signs for their front doors. She said she noticed improvement with each of the baskets she painted. Since then, she has taught herself how to mix paints and which brushes to use for each surface she paints.
“I never get bored because I’m always painting new things and finding new things to paint on,” Falls said.
The artist paints on everything and anything. She has used leaves, feathers, furniture, saw blades, baskets, fireplace screens and windows as her canvas. She enjoys painting mountain landscapes, regional animals and birdhouses, to name a few.
Falls said her favorite thing to paint on is windows because she likes the challenge of the reverse painting technique she uses. She said the technique is a lost art that is seeing some resurgence.
“So many of the things I come up with are original,” Falls said. She said her Christmas ornaments are one-of-a-kind because she paints on the inside of the ornament. She also said that her fireplace screens and furniture painting is unique.
Falls’ murals can be seen at Mary Blount Elementary and Montvale Elementary schools. She said she began with one room at Mary Blount, and they liked it, so she is painting a themed mural outside each classroom. She also painted a mural of a log cabin in the cafeteria of Mary Blount, which is now known as Cabin Café.
Thanks to Falls, folks from all around the world have a cityscape of 1938 downtown Maryville. She has created prints of her original painting and has had requests for the print from customers all over the world.
Falls’ work, “Friendsville Whittlers” was selected to be featured at the Blount County Court House and can now be seen as a mural on the fourth floor.
Falls serves as president of the Blount County Arts and Crafts Guild and has contributed her art work to fundraisers, benefits and silent auctions for local charities.
At the Foothills Fall Festival, Falls will feature her artwork on painted trays, saws, photo albums, yard art and personalized Christmas ornaments.