Sunday, August 12, 2007

Spotlight on meArtDesign

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Sometimes I begin to feel a bit like a broken record-- I like vibrant colors! I like detailed linework! But I do! And there are so many talented artists on Etsy who just keep feeding those addictions, so I don't think that will be changing anytime soon. : )

Michelle is one of those artists. However, even more than the gorgeous colors and intricate linework I adore so much, what really captures a viewer's attention is the sense of movement and vitality in each of her pieces. Her sweeping pictures of women, flowers, and small critters simply radiate positivity, love of life, and self confidence--making each piece more than just a beautiful piece of art, they are small affirmations of self and worth.

The first image shown, showcases many of Michelle's signature themes--women, birds, flowing lines, and the female form merging with nature. The peaceful look on her face makes the piece serene and the vibrant lighting in the piece brings to mind my favorite sunny afternoons. There are plenty of deep messages--being part of nature, giving back, being at peace with your self, nurturing others--but even for those who don't want to ponder the personal messages, it is a beautiful piece, carefully composed and showing a deep familiarity with the language of color. For those who do wish to ponder the deeper messages, this piece gives a few key areas to think on, and provides a tranquil enough setting for meditation. Perhaps it is because I am so drawn to the style, but I find that I connect on a very personal level with many of the women in Michelle's pieces. They are every woman. And they are me.

The second image showcases another style of work in Michelle's shop--mostly black and white, highly detailed line work with a few key areas of color. This piece again shows a female figure who appears to be dancing, flying, or floating. The look on her face is slightly dreamy and distant and together it reminds me of dancing by myself to a favorite love song on the radio. Natural elements are also present here, although they are most abstract and subtle. The lines wrapping around her right arm appear to form a tree, her dress recalls vines, leaves, and berries, and a small sprig of berries seems to sprout from behind her head.

The use of color on her face is just enough to ground her--to take her from coloring book creation to fully alive. Metaphorically, you could also argue that her face is real and the rest of what you see is how she sees herself, or what exists in a fantasy/dream world space in her head. Taking that view, the image becomes incredibly intimate as you are seeing into her self image. This piece would also make an excellent focus for meditation or inspiration as every viewer will bring their own experiences to the piece.

Given Michelle's strong theme of grounded, confident, vibrant women I think these pieces would make excellent gifts for any woman in your life who needs a small reminder to celebrate her own strength and gifts. However, women are not the only ones who can appreciate these small masterpieces and the works are not so feminine in nature that men would find them difficult to relate to. In fact, Michelle's Sharing Trees ACEO was among the gifts I gave my husband for our anniversary last February as the piece recalled a reading we had had at our ceremony.

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