Artist Maggie Fox stands next to her paintings inside the Key Largo Art Gallery. CONTRIBUTED

Abstract paintings allow viewers to have their own experience, and they are meant to be interpreted in a personal way. Abstract paintings are a tool for tapping into our emotions. Key Largo artist Maggie Fox creates abstract art that is inspired by musical compositions.

Paintings by Fox are the answer to what a musical composition might look like. She conducts the painting to the music, creating interesting mixed media abstract paintings. Yes, the type of music you would expect to find at a concert hall, music by Vivaldi, Bach and Beethoven, is what inspires her art. 

The art is multilayered, using highly textured mixed media. The art mimics the sound and the mood of the art. One of the layers often found in her art is musical notes that help give a hint to the composition. One who reads musical notes can help decipher the art and the musical composition.

At age 10, Fox had a knee injury and couldn’t play much while recovering. It was during this time she came to admire classical music. At the age of 15, she moved to the U.S. from Cuba. Fox continued her art passion by obtaining a fine arts degree. She worked at Artspace Virginia Miller Galleries in Coral Gables. She would paint and create, but it was not until later that she would really take off with her art.

“My paintings celebrate the joy of the music that I love. Classical music is always playing in my studio. I select a classical composition and listen to it while I work on my painting, its title in honor of the piece that inspired it,” she said.  

I met Fox and her husband of 57 years, Leo, in her studio to discuss her fierce passion for art. Maggie is kind and knowledgeable. Maggie and Leo make a dynamic team necessary while traveling the art festival circuit. To travel to all the various festivals, they got an RV and went from show to show. Maggie would find remarkable success in the art festivals, winning several awards and best in shows. In 2021, Ocean Reef purchased her painting and its copyright, “Spring,” to hang in their cultural center and the cover to a membership brochure.

“Although abstract, my mixed media paintings are not without purpose, energy and meaning,” she said. “They are not painted as much as they are built. The nuances of the undercoats, which show through here and there, the gestural brushwork, the elements that I choose to collage and their placement within the composition are all orchestrated to give the piece movement and tension and are meant to act as ‘magnets’ to bring the viewer closer.”

Fox’s newest art series is ready to be unveiled — it took her more than 14 months to complete. After living in Key Largo for the last few years, she was inspired by beautiful nature. A preserve sits in view outside her studio window. The ocean inspires Fox the most in the Keys. Her new series is titled the “Ocean Wave Series.” All the classical compositions of this series are inspired by the water and sea. The mixed media abstract paintings have ocean-related colors, marine shades of blue, aqua and light green. 

“You might say it’s a reflection of where I now live and the coastal views around me,” she said. “They are bold, bright, happy paintings that speak of the Keys, the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, sun and surf. It’s a very cohesive collection of 10 canvases, and I’m quite proud of this body of work.”

“Music is such a universal language and theme,” she continued. “It is my goal to bring a visual connection between classical music, the viewer and my painting.”  To view Fox’s new series, visit Her work can also be found in the Key Largo Art Gallery.

William DePaula is an artist, designer and gemologist who believes in the power of art. From his early childhood onward, he has never stopped drawing, painting and creating. He envisions a world in which beauty is as important as function, where culture and history are respected, and where nature is at once powerful and vulnerable. Infusing an essence of life in all his paintings, DePaula understands beauty is accessible to all. DePaula's art has been featured in select art museums around the world.