filed under: art, let's chat!, paintings
the world connects us in mysterious ways. you know how last week i interviewed suzanne shade of the beholder? it was so funny because in her answers she mentions the work of graphic designer michelle armas, who is one of the artists her gallery represents. the funny thing is i had contacted michelle and asked her for an interview before my interview with suzanne was complete. call it six degrees of separation or odd coincidence, but without further ado may i present these engrossing oil on canvas works. when i look at them i think that i could be anyplace at any moment, moving closer and closer to the canvas. there are sweeping curves and jagged peaks and wispy lines and cool splotches of color that are harmonious and flowing and make me wish i was in a gigantic room using my peripheral vision to see all of them at the same time, my eyes greedily scanning the corners and walls so as not to miss one bit of it all. let’s have a chat with michelle and find out more!
q: where do you live, and where do you create your art?
a: i live in a house in atlanta, and my studio is the whole top floor, the master bedroom, but who needs a huge bedroom? i have lots of natural light, that is great for painting, and just a few steps from the kitchen, very important. my intern coco (below) is frequently working with me too.
q: what is your background, and did you study art formally?
a: i have a masters of graphic design in branding. i moved to new york after i graduated and worked in branding and i really didn’t like it. i was way stressed out, so to feel better i started painting, and it kinda grew from there.
q: do you have a favorite medium to use?
a: i love oils so much, so fluid, i even love the smell, it is like there is some serious science going on when i smell that oil. but, i am experimenting with acrylics now too, they dry so much faster, and since i layer so much, i can make a whole painting in a few days, it changes how the end product looks. very cool.
q: do you think your painting style influences your graphic design work, or vice versa?
a: i am so much a graphic designer, i start with a concept or a story first, then explore basic shapes that communicate the idea, however abstract. then when i have a clear voice, i let go and just create. that is how i design too. i can’t just say, oh i want to do some flowers. it will end up looking crappy.
q: what is the price range of your collection?
a: very inexpensive actually. canvases around $400-$600, with prints from $20-$30. but i do have another project that i will reveal soon, that involves textiles.
q: what is your inspiration for these works? do you have a message you want to send through these pieces?
a: my first series was inspired by science. i am a huge science person, i love the idea of cells upon cells working together to create a body, and bodies together, very special to me. also i love history, i read historical books all the time, so i was researching early biologists and their reactions to the discovery of bacteria and single celled animals. how wonderful, i thought, to learn about these things that are all around, and how that would trigger your imagination. i don’t send messages really, i like to just create a fantastical environment, a place to let your brain just go and dream.
q: can we go to see your collection in person anywhere? are you currently exhibiting in any shows or is there anything else meaningful you would like to include here?
a: i am participating in a show at the tinlark gallery in september with some very talented artists via little paper planes. i keep selling paintings, that is good, but that makes it hard to have a permanent exhibition anywhere when i don’t have a very large body of work.