Michele Thompson

by | Dec 7, 2020 | Blog, Featured Artist | 0 comments

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Michele:”I am originally from Laguna Hills, California in the USA. I move every 2-3 years because my partner is in the US Marine Corps. I currently reside in La Plata, Maryland, USA with an in-home studio.”

When did you start painting?
Michele: “In high school 2010.”

What materials do you use?
Michele: ” I use Canvas or Linen (stretched or panel) sized with gelatin and primed with gesso. I tend to use a quick watercolor wash to set a midtoned background. I never draw on my surface with anything other than paint. I cover my surface with an underpainting as fast as possible, paying attention to values mores than anything else. Once covered, I begin working all over the surface rather than developing from one spot so as to create cohesion through the piece. I also utilize what I call a modified Zorn palette (Titanium White, Ivory Black, Cadmium Red, Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Ochre, and some sort of pale yellow). I find that using this limited palette allows me to mix more complex and meaningful colors. During my painting process, I use heavy knife work (sometimes exclusively) in order to create texture and movement. One of my favorite techniques is to have thick paint next to the bare underpainting, as I find this stimulates the mind.”

Which subjects do you prefere to paint?
Michele: “My preferred subject matter is landscapes. I find it more interesting to depict mood, and to experiment with setting and motion. I feel our surroundings deserve recognition for the emotional power they have in influencing our lives.”

Did you go to art school?
Michele: “Yes, I went to art school for a year and I am also self taught.”

Is art a hobby or a career?
Michele: “I am dedicating all my time and energy to having art as my career.”

Fun Fact?
Michele: “I was an outdoor guide in Alaska, leading backpacking expeditions ranging from 2 days to four weeks in duration.

Have you had any art exhibitions?
MIchele: “Yes, I have
2014 – Dacia Gallery (NYC) “Romania Artist Residency” Sibiu, Transylvania. Romania.
(I participated in a one month international artist residency in Romania, ending with an exhibition of my work completed during that time)
2013 – Freedom Village CCRC “Monthly Artist in Residence” Lake Forest, CA. USA.
(I worked as an administrative assistant at Freedom Village Retirement Community while trying to start my art career. The senior residents loved my work and petitioned for me to exhibit there for the month.)

Which artists inspire you?
Michele: ” Many artists: Zorn, Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Ilya Repin to name a few.”

Michele: “I recently participated in an International Artist Residency at the Fish Factory Creative Centre in Stöðvarfjörður, Iceland. I was there February and March 2020. During this time, I began developing a series of large-scale landscape paintings titled “Grief”, inspired by the stages of grief I experienced after my father’s passing.

My work has evolved immensely just in the last 5 years. My vision as an artist is more clear than it has ever been due to personal happenings and artistic decisions, such as my recent Iceland residency. Regardless of this selection outcome, I am earnestly dedicated to painting and will continue to create despite public opinion. My work reflects that of traditional and often labeled “boring” and “antiquated” works, but I respect those masters who dared to experiment with it. This propels me to further push the limits of traditional painting, modernizing it and bringing interest back to it if not just for a moment.”

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