Michelle Armas is an artist working out of Decatur, Georgia living in Atlanta. Though Michelle was trained in graphic design, I was pleased to learn she is relatively new to painting. I love how free and cheerful her work feels. Because I have been in a sense working backward, or revisiting old paintings to make them better, I am inspired to just start new pieces and dedicate a corner to fresh white canvases! Have more fun damn it!
When I first started bringing out my old paintings a month ago, after about a two year hiatus, it was all very fun and liberating. I was able to see completed and half finished pieces with new eyes. Often seeing them in a much better light than I remember leaving them. But after living with them again, having them all out in the same room, making small changes here and there, I find myself confronted with the same recurring issues as when I left them a few years ago. The #arteveryday2013 project is helping me work through some of this, because these pieces are quick, and can be a totally different style or subject matter. I think this is why I started painting on t-shirts in 2008; it was a great distraction that seemed so simple and was finished so quickly. It certainly has given me more insight into the types of artwork better suited for textiles and clothing, but unfortunately has not helped me work through the challenges of a painting 3 or 4 layers deep.
So what are the challenges? I have spent much more time drawing than painting. And my drawings, even when approaching a still life or scene with depth and shadow, always had a strong line element. Also, these pieces were always one color. My knowledge of color comes from a print-making background - so uniform blocks of color applied in layers (one color at a time). My paintings, likewise, have always had a strong line/shape element that are defined by different colors. I used to begin my paintings with a line drawing, then start to fill in the shapes with different colors often times in an ordered way.
I guess there is nothing wrong with this, and as a small collection of work may be great, but painting in this style indefinitely can get rather boring and seems too simple for a self respecting painter. I don't often create a series that are done in a very similar style, at the most two pieces, but I have often began in a similar way, using different color combinations or "rules" to my ordered process.
There may be a future in this, but at the time I stopped painting to focus on the clothing, I was becoming increasingly tired of my shapes and techniques, and also of the lack of interest from the outside world. Perhaps I rely on this too much to guide my art direction. And though I've made a commitment to focus on art again, there are so many directions where one can take it, or rather, what the art can be used for. It seems as though the general public rarely buys original art anymore, but I want to continue as if they will.
My current strategy is 1) paint over old pieces in a
completely different style 2) Maintain an underpainting's
structure but really work to bring out a true focal point and more
depth. 3) Continue to draw and paint real objects/things to work on my sense color, shadow, shape, and movement
Overpainting: far left is one I did around 2009, far right is most recent
I just discovered the website wheretheycreate.com which features photographs of artists, designers, and organizations in their natural habitats making beautiful pieces in strange, messy, or beautiful spaces. I find it very inspiring seeing others work spaces and their pieces in progress - getting a glimpse into the in-between phases of a finished piece.
For those new to my work, I have been creating art-o-mat original paintings since 2006, about the same time I started painting. Here are some of my past collections:
Art-o-mat recycles old cigarette vending machines and transforms them into art vending machine. Each block is the size of a cigarette pack and sold at locations all over the country. Check out their site here: www.artomat.org
The last time I submitted a collection was in 2011, but I just finished
another and sent it off to North Carolina (the Art-o-Mat base). This will be my 6th set of 50, so 300 tiny paintings of mine are out there. Normally some are carried in my home state (Washington) but part of the fun is that I never know where they end up. Here is the new collection:
Note: The winner was chosen by assigning each person one to two numbers then by way of a number randomization tool, one number was selected.
After 6+ years selling on Etsy, I've finally broken 1000 sales. And to celebrate, I'll be giving away one of my new hand painted tees and dresses - winner's choice. Interested? Here's how to enter:
Winner will be announced two weeks from today (March 15th)!
New Spring Hand Painted T-Shirts! I'm doing things a little differently this time ...
Each style will be made in very small quantities (not exceeding 10 pieces) and for a limited time. Every tee will be painted individually with attention to the overall style but with no intention to duplicate it exactly. Some will only be made once, and if the more the popular designs reach their quota, new styles will be created. Wholesale is also available - which means you may encounter a tee in a shop you've never seen before.
I am slowly adding them to the shop, so keep a lookout!
I've started a new series on Instagram (@JessalinBeutler) and posting on Twitter that I'm tagging #arteveryday2013 . I started about two weeks into the new year after seeing Jaime Derringer's series #ashapeaday2013 . Since I am moving my work in a new direction, I thought it a great way to be held accountable for some kind of mark-making every day.
Not every time you sit down to make something does it turn out great, but there is reassurance in the fact that you'll be trying it again the next day.
Prada A/W13 illustrated by Hellen Bullock (left), Gucci A/W13 illustrated by Helen Bullock (right)
Astrid Andersen A/W13 illustrated by Hellen Bullock (left), Craig Green A/W13 illustrated by Helen Bullock (right)
Emporio Armani A/W13 illustrated by Hellen Bullock (left), JW Anderson A/W13 illustrated by Helen Bullock (right)