Paintings

Childhood Memories and the Art of Painted Playgrounds


“The Legacy of Mildred’s Basement” by Michele Bledsoe

When I was a child

my favorite place to play was in my grandmother’s basement.

I would stay down there

for hours on end.

That was so many years ago.

All gone now,

along with my beloved grandma..

but not really.

I still go there

when I paint.

 

 

SIX HANDS AND THE ART OF FOLLOWING YOUR BRUSH

 

When I paint
I put a blob of raw umber on my palette
and start drawing on the canvas.
I don’t stop to think about what I’m doing
I go wherever my paintbrush takes me.
Often it leads me into difficult territory..
Not away from it.
Hands are hard,
yet the creature that ended up on my canvas
has six of them.
So I struggle.
I fight.
I am committed to the end.
Dedicated to the direction of my gift
and the heart that guides me..
I will never give up.
Don’t avoid the hard stuff.
That’s how you grow.

Excerpt from Painting, Passion and the Art of Life by Michele Bledsoe

Deconstructed Forests and the Art of Obsession

   Paintings by Michele Bledsoe

 

I am obsessed with trees..

and pieces of trees.

Planks and chunks

of carved wood,

branches and leaves

I paint them all the time..

cultivating my weird

deconstructed forest

on canvas.

 

 

PAINTED TREES AND THE ART OF CHRISTMAS

Being that my husband and I are both artists..

our family Christmas tradition

involves painting.

We have been working on this tree for many years.

Every December, we pull it out of storage

and get to work.

Taking turns

adding details

My sisters have also contributed..

picking up a brush to add their mark

to a tree decorating ceremony

captured on canvas.

42 Dogs and the Art of Repetition

42 Dogs by Michele Bledsoe

 

There are books on my shelf that I have read dozens of times..

maybe hundreds.

I could say the same for certain movies.

Experiencing such a deep passion for something

will do that to you.

Maybe it’s just me.

 

The painting you see is called 42 dogs.

I wasn’t trying to be cryptic

or intentionally weird..

the title is actually quite literal.

While painting it, I listened to Pink Floyd’s “Dogs

42 times in a row.

 

 

 

 

Precious Gems and the Art of Rediscovery

Inside the treasure chest.. paintings by Richard and Michele Bledsoe

 

Since my husband and I are both painters..

we have a lot of art on the walls.

“We live inside a treasure chest.” Richard often says..

I couldn’t agree more.

 

I have spent countless hours

wandering around my house

staring at one piece

or another..

discovering and rediscovering

each precious jewel

again and again.

 

 

Negative Space and the Art of Being Yourself

 

The Church of Instinct, As Above So Below and From the Old House by Michele Bledsoe

Just as the negative space

around an object

will define its shape..

You can tell a lot about a person

by what they like.

These things reveal something about us..

 

But art is different.

 

More than just a human-shaped outline

formed by the things we respond to..

When you create art

it IS you.

 

 

Steve Gompf, Oreo Cookies and the Art of Constructive Criticism

Portrait of Steve Gompf by Michele Bledsoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2018, the world lost a great artist

and I lost my friend.

A true creative genius..

Steve Gompf was one of the most wildly imaginative

and passionate artists I have ever known..

and he taught me the true meaning

of constructive criticism.

 

When we shared a gallery years ago

my work had become very gray.

Soft tones and faded colors..

I was struggling with my palette

and I had lost my way.

It was Steve who brought me back.

 

Wonderfully eccentric,

playful and engaging..

Steve was also as blunt as a sledgehammer.

 

He marched up to my work

and held an Oreo cookie against a “dark” area

in one of my paintings..

“That’s not dark!” he exclaimed,

THIS is dark.”

I was floored.

He was absolutely right.

After this artistic epiphany

my work improved dramatically.

 

When Steve asked me to paint his portrait

I had no words..

but I was thrilled at the opportunity

to pour out my love and gratitude

in a way we would both understand.

Shared Studios and the Art of Talking to Yourself

“And Then You Blink” by Michele Bledsoe

My husband and I paint back to back in our home studio.

We listen to music, we talk to each other..

and we talk to ourselves.

“Why are you still using this brush?” I scold myself in disbelief.

“#$%*@! Yes, yes… oompa loompa!” Richard shouts enthusiastically.

It is a strange disjointed conversation..

punctuated by wordless grunts

sentence fragments

and a variety of hoots

howls and whistles.

 

We are still in the same room

but we are gone.

Lost in our own worlds

just as it should be.