©2010, Michelle Morin. Red Coral
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything
else in the universe. – John Muir
3 essential questions
BY MAGAZINE ART EDITOR AJA BLANC
Aja Tell me about your creative process – the choices you make, ways of seeing, modes of making – how do you show up as an artist each day?
Michelle I make sure that the space I’m working in is filled with inspiration. I have some of my favorite plants, books, drawings and photos close so when I get stuck I can just look around and be recharged.
I usually start the day by sketching a few ideas in a notebook.
I’m very inspired by color pallets. If I have a few particular colors in mind that I want to work with I’ll start to map out my idea with splotches of color. This then gives me more information to draw from. At that point I can start to place the plants and animals.
©2010, Michelle Morin. Owl and Branch
Aja Your work shows a deep engagement with the natural world. How did animals and nature find its way into your art?
Michelle I can’t imagine using anything else as my subject. I’m so fascinated by plants and animals. I find they’re the most interesting subject to work with because of their stories. How they evolved and survived (or didn’t), their habits and so on.
I have a lot of questions about these things and painting them allows me to stay close and do a bit of research along the way.
©2010, Michelle Morin. Three Wales with Flowers
Aja The complex patterns in your paintings create beautiful tones and textures, what does the process of drawing and painting patterns feel like for you?
Michelle Creating an interesting composition and balance is important to me. While I love painting from life I also enjoy elaborating on those things that make these creatures so interesting.
If I’m looking at my subject and I see a slight wrinkle or crease I tend to want to emphasize that through repetition. It becomes a very interesting process.
Repeating lines to build up a texture can be very rewarding. When you pair the elaborated line work with smooth washes of color something very interesting happens to the image. Areas become flattened and I end up with a bold graphic layer.
©2010, Michelle Morin. Single Dodo Siting
Aja What are some of the challenges you face when engaged in the artistic process?
Michelle I’m always faced with wanting to put to much on the page. Editing is the hardest thing for me… especially when it comes to color. I’m drawn to and inspired by very paired down color pallets, but have a tendency to want to use every color.
©2010, Michelle Morin. Animal Vegetable Miracle
Michelle Morin is an artist living and working in Salem, MA who went to school for painting and and art history in Boston at the Massachusetts College of Art. For the past 5 years, Michelle has worked as a private gardener and illustrator.
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Name may be withheld by request.
© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.