Sunday, July 30, 2017

Process and Thinking

Coming this August Michele will be showing in a group exhibition at James Oliver Gallery here in Philadelphia. I have finished preparing and taping the last of the wood panels for the show, which is now over 40 pieces ready for her to paint. When I came into her studio this past week she had already started working on over 20 out of the 40 pieces! She said she will have all of the rest started and almost finished the next time I return. It amazes me to see the panels come to life through her bringing out the grain of the wood in each. From observing the panels as I have prepped them I now see her compositions, and how they form within each piece she creates. For this exhibition the focus is on groups, hence why she requires so many surfaces for her installation. Michele likes to focus on the macro and micro specifically in her work. She is including exposing parts of the wood as well as using white, black, and gray paint. Another element she is including in this work is gold leaf. She carefully applies it in each panel, and considers the impact it has. The completed works so far are beautifully executed, and draw the viewer in with the way the light hits the gold leaf. It allows the eye to look at the positive and negative space within each individual piece, and as a whole. The black, white, and gray create great high contrast with the way they were applied with the use of detail and linear forms. I am incredibly excited to see the finished installation, and also have the privilege of helping her hang it at the gallery.

Also, I finally got to start working on her other ongoing installation piece that over 100 people have worked on over the past few years. Her idea is incredible creating a large cascading waterfall effect floor to ceiling of paint stirrers beautifully painted and wrapped with printed paper, tied tightly with white string. The stirrers are dipped in paint and wrapped in colorful patterned paper. Each are then glued in a cluster of 5 stirrers each, and fanned evenly. My part is the wrapping the string around the cluster, and I made it my mission to make sure each were tied exactly how she explained in order to create the impact she wants. I will be continuing to wrap these until the end of the summer, and would love to see it when its finally done and installed in the near future.

After the week was done Michele messaged me a lot of valuable information, which was great for me as an aspiring painter. I really appreciate her taking the time to do this on days I am not working for her, so I don't miss anything that could be helpful to me in the future. She sent me pictures of the step by step process for how she ships and packages her paintings so I would have for references when needed. And I was also sent the video that was created for Michele's Urban art exhibition. The video was incredible as well as the work she made for the show. She considered every detail and component that went into it, as well as in all of the work she makes which inspires me to do the same moving forward. I can't wait to go to her studio to see more next week!

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