Maite Mendia Esnaola (Maite Jenner under her married name) was born in 1957 in San Sebastian-Donostia, Northern Spain. She has always been very conscious of her Basque roots and many of her early paintings were landscapes of that area. Maite was especially focussed on the iconic Mount Txindoki, reminiscent of the Matterhorn, which overshadows the town of Beasain where she was brought up.
At a very early age Maite showed a keen artistic interest with sketches of her local environment and family. She became interested in oil painting while in her late teens, influenced by her uncle, Eduardo Lasheras, a well-known local landscape artist.
Although her early paintings had a realistic base, they were already beginning to develop an impressionistic style. She also started experimenting with watercolours and acrylic paints. Recently, Maite has moved into a more abstract style with fluid lines and kaleidoscopic colours. She is particularly interested in the relationship between land, sea and sky. Her style demands a more emotional and individualistic response from the viewer, but all with suggestions of a realistic landscape as a backdrop.
A graduate in English from the University of Vitoria-Gasteiz, she has also lived in Nigeria, Sweden and for many years Plymouth and Exeter. She now resides in Chudleigh with her Exonian husband. She has three grown-up sons.