Max Rowe on Finding Flow Through Art + Skiing

Max Rowe takes skiing to the next level in his fun, poppy art collections. Rowe describes himself as “in search of flow.” He does this through skiing and art; for him, finding flow is a release into a state of presence with his mind and body by letting go and accepting what’s coming his way.

Art by Max Rowe

Art by Max Rowe

Rowe relates and contextualizes a lot of his reality through skiing and illustrates this through his paintings. “I like to depict that specific moment of action when the skier is really focused, but there is a lot of action around,” he says. For him, this is a great representation of flow. He does this through bold colors and dark lines similarly found in his influences of graphic art and comics.

He also admits to painting very impressionistically based on his influences of the natural beauty around him. “I’m painting the way I see these things,” Rowe comments. Having grown up in Colorado, Rowe believes nature naturally gets conveyed through his artwork and is his biggest muse. Rowe’s series of work has included paintings of mountain tops, animals, yoga poses, skiers and riders. “I’m really interested in ski art currently, but I will continue evolving,” he shares.

“That’s the fun thing about art,” he adds. “As I continue to grow and learn more about the world and myself, my art changes as well. It’s something that always keeps me invested in doing it for myself.”

max rowe artRowe also finds influences in professional skiers, because they are masters of their craft. “Skiing has always been a way for me to understand the world and interpret my surroundings,” Rowe says. Rowe grew up skiing Vail on the weekends, and after graduating from the
University of Colorado, he returned to the mountains to teach skiing at Vail for many years.

Skiing became deeply rooted in his identity just as much as painting. Rowe also grew up taking painting lessons from a neighbor and went on to earn a studio art degree in college. “I’ve always seen myself as an artist,” he says, “not just through my drawing and painting but the way that I approach skiing has always been a natural way for me to express myself.”

"Skiing can be a very individualized sport, but by painting skiing, I can connect with many people through my art, and that is very meaningful, too." Max Rowe

Even though Rowe isn’t skiing 100 days of the year like he used to, he still finds it shapes his view of everything he does. “When I paint a skier or snowboarder, I feel a different sort of connection to the culture and lifestyle than when actually doing it,” he explains. “Skiing can be a very individualized sport, but by painting skiing, I can connect with many people through my art, and that is
very meaningful, too,” he adds.

He enjoys seeing people’s reactions to his art — especially children who seem to enjoy the bright colors. He hopes to inspire them to share the same passion and to keep skiing alive in an era where we are slowly seeing the effects of climate change. “If my work inspires young people to care about skiing, then they will in turn also care about sustainability and the environment, because skiing is instinctively linked to that,” he says.

In 2017, Rowe journeyed to Japan to guide skiing trips and search for flow within their renowned powder. He enjoyed observing their ski culture and worked on building a ski guiding business. After a couple winters there, he returned to Colorado and married his wife, Charlotte, who he met while abroad. They currently live in Avon where Rowe can be spotted painting at the AvonLive summer concert series and the local art festivals, as well as at the Royal Street Fine Art Gallery in Aspen.

Rowe’s work can be found online at or Instagram @maxflowart.