bio: the art story & the backstory

Did you catch the play on words? MS=Ms, as well as Mississippi.

Maureen O’Keefe Ward, aka MS Maureen

The Art Story:  I began making art in my teens, focusing on pen and ink drawings. On and off for the last twenty years I have studied oil painting, first with Soviet-trained artist Otari Shiuk, and more recently with Terry Miura, Carolyn Anderson, Jack Boul, Maggie Siner, and Yellow Barn artists including Walt Bartman.

In preparation for a Yellow Barn workshop in Cuba, I added gouache to my arsenal. I also make original paintings on an iPad and teach iPad art at the Yellow Barn and elsewhere.

In addition to original paintings and drawings on traditional supports, I also offer for sale limited edition, high qualtiy prints, of selected pieces — both iPad and traditional. More information is here.  Please inquire, if you are interested.

In addition, I am available to make commissioned portraits that are suitable for my current level of mastery.

The Backstory:  A bounty of twists and turns:  Hailing from Biloxi, MS, eldest of 13 children, an amazing mom and dad. ‘Interned’ in the convent for 7 years after high school.
Moved north for graduate school at University of Chicago. Met hubby-to-be in the Windy City and wed in Heidelberg, Germany while he was on military duty. Welcomed our first son there.

Back to University of Chicago for hubby’s PhD dissertation and, afterwards, my JD. Clerked for Judge Gee in Austin, TX at 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Practiced law for 20 years, 13 of which as a partner, at Steptoe & Johnson, Washington, DC. Welcomed our second son during that period.

After S&J stint, formed and managed Make Piece/Peace, a 501c3 organization designed to help low-income women (and interested men) learn and practice jewelry entrepreneurship as a vehicle to reach self-sufficiency.

My focus now centers on art.  And connecting more fully with beloved family and friends.  And some type of public service.  All of which are food for the soul.

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