Illustration

Terrifying Visions and the Art of Trusting the Gift

“The Ghost and My Obsession” by Michele Bledsoe

Several years ago I was sitting at my desk

in my high-level corporate job

and I had a terrifying vision.

I imagined myself far in the future

sitting at the same desk..

doing exactly the same thing

and wondering to myself

what life would have been like

if I had decided to pursue my art instead.

Not long after that, I quit my job..

and let my path take me to where I was meant to be

instead of where I thought I should go.

In life, as in art

we must be fearless.

Trust the gift.

 

Marathon Painting and the Art of Sitting on the Sidelines

pen-and-pencil

 

Recently, my husband Richard participated

in a 48hour Create-A-Thon held inside a church.

As the name suggests,

artists were given 48 hours

to create a work of art

inspired by a specific theme.

Richard has done this before.

Actually, this is the third time.

Me?

I sat in a nearby chair, happily drawing pictures.

Occasionally, people would look over my shoulder

and ask why I was not participating in the event.

I am a slow painter.

I like to linger over my work.

Perhaps if there was a 480 hour marathon,

I’d reconsider.

 

Painting marathon: Day 2

Painting marathon: Day 2

Visionary Painting the Glorious Mystery of a Stranger’s Heart

2016

A work in progress by Michele Bledsoe

 

I am often surprised

when people have a hard time identifying

what is going on in my paintings.

It happens a lot.

“What is that… a face?”

they would ask..

squinting at my work.

“Is that part of a tree…?

 

I didn’t understand

why not everyone could see what I was seeing..

But, then again..

I suppose it would be somewhat disorienting

to find yourself thrust

without warning

into the deepest places

of a stranger’s heart.

 

Such is the power of art.

Art Deprivation and the Necessity of Painting

salvation-and-desire

“Salvation and Desire” by Michele Bledsoe

 

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

Gospel of Thomas

 

I love to paint.

I need to paint..

but sometimes life intervenes

and pulls me from my easel.

I feel unbalanced.

Irritable.

Something is off.

I am suffering from art deprivation..

Like some kind of

horrible sleep deficiency..

there is an almost physical

longing to dream.

 

As artists, it is necessary to make time

to create..

our lives depend on it.

 

 

Paintbrushes, Pencils and A Love That Lasts Forever

Still life with Creature by Michele Bledsoe

Still life with Creature by Michele Bledsoe

I love to draw.

When I was a child

all I wanted to do was stay up all night long

and draw pictures.

45 years later,

not much has changed..

except sometimes I am holding

a paintbrush instead of a pencil.

 

Inglorious Arizona and the Art of Pushing Your Limits

"The Jail Tree" by Michele Bledsoe

“The Jail Tree” by Michele Bledsoe

My husband Richard and I were honored to be included among the artists selected to create work for INGLORIOUS ARIZONA. In this exciting project, stories about the grittier side of Arizona’s past were assigned to a selection of local artists. Once received, the artists would have about a month to create art inspired by their particular story.

One month may seem like a lot of time..

but not for me.

I am a slow, meticulous painter..

blissfully lingering over my work with tiny brushes.

So, when I submitted my work for consideration

I knew that if I were selected

I would pretty much have to paint non-stop for 30 days.

Did I hesitate?

No.

And during the magnificent painting frenzy that followed

I pushed the limits of my endurance

to the breaking point…

only to discover

that I did not break.

Such is life.

 

 

 

 

 

Lifetime Commitments and the Full Circle of Art

sketchbook1

When I was little, all I wanted was to draw well.

My dream was not to be some rich and famous artist..

Not to win awards or have my paintings hanging in museums.

I just wanted to be good.

I remember staring endlessly at the pictures of the beautifully illustrated books I grew up with.  The people who made those pictures had somehow managed to capture their imagination on paper and make it real. My mind was filled with pictures, too – and there were worlds inside me that had to come out. The urge to create was irresistible.. and it ignited a fire inside me that will burn forever.

Exposure to art at an early age is a powerful experience. It can change your life. My husband Richard talks about this in his recent post, The Fine Art of Childhood.

Art is a lifetime commitment. The endless months, years, decades invested to get my skills to match my vision. Always pushing further – I love every step of my artistic journey. This is what I was meant to do. I have dedicated my life to bringing my unique vision out into the light. Truly, art is the soul made visible.

It seems only fitting that I have become the author / illustrator of children’s books..

After all, that is where it all began.

The circle is complete.