artist

Predestination and the Art of Call Waiting

“Under the Pillow” by Michele Bledsoe

 

No one rolls out of bed one day

and decides to be an artist..

you were meant to be one.

Even if you don’t answer the call for many years

it has always been there

inside you

waiting.

 

Snowmen, Ice Cream Cones and the Art of Doing the Best You Can

Me and Anna under the rainbow..

 

My husband and I volunteer as art teachers

for a group of inner city kids in downtown Phoenix.

One evening, we were joined by a particularly shy little girl.

Sitting in front of a blank piece of paper,

she whispered that she couldn’t think of anything to draw.

I asked her if there was something she wanted me to draw.

“A snowman!” she said, touching the picture of Olaf on her t-shirt.

“Okay,” I said – rising to the challenge..

“I never drew him before, but I am going to do the best I can.”

The girl watched me intently.

A few minutes later, I showed the little girl my drawing.

Smiling, she looked down at her blank piece of paper

and announced with great conviction,

“I am going to draw an ice cream cone. I never drew one before

but I am going to do the best I can.”

She drew a wonderful ice cream cone, covered in sprinkles with a cherry on top..

and after that, she drew the picture you see above.

I thanked her

and then I got something in my eye.

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.

 

Prussian Blue and the Art of Being Impulsive

“Frozen Zoo” by Michele Bledsoe

 

I have a very distinct palette…

a range of colors that I use

every time I paint.

Raw umber

Chromium Oxide Green

Cobalt Blue

Turner’s Yellow

Red Oxide

Raw Sienna..

to name a few.

I know these colors intimately;

How they react to each other..

all their moods

and subtleties..

I know them like I know

the landscape of my own heart.

 

But, when I started work on my painting Frozen Zoo

I did something outrageously impulsive

and decided to use a new color.

Not just a little taste of it..

not just dipping my toe in the water..

Instead, I stared at that strange tube of paint in front of me

and decided to cover a huge portion of my canvas with it.

 

That was my introduction to Prussian Blue.

A tremendous leap of artistic faith..

it was an epic struggle

to incorporate this alien color into my familiar palette.

It did weird things

when I mixed it with raw umber.

Is that a hint of green I see?

Yellow?

I never realized that blue could be so warm.

Flailing about and lost in unfamiliar territory

I refused to back down.

 

By the time the painting was completed

Prussian Blue was like an old friend..

battle tested and true,

it is a welcome addition

to my comfortable palette.

 

There is no place for cowardice in art.

 

 

True Grit in the Art Studio

richard-laugh1

This is an actual conversation

that took place

while my husband and I were painting.

Michele: “I will not modulate my highlights. No, I will not. I will not blend it into the color behind it. I will not swirl my brush in it. I will use a hard, white mark and leave it alone…

Richard: “That’s bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.”

Michele: “Fill your hand you son of a bitch!”

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.

 

 

Opportunity, Wealth and the Art of Service

No One Has Ever Become Poor by Giving.- Anne Frank

image: Detail from “The Bridge” by Michele Bledsoe

 

There was a period of time

where my paintings were on display every month..

but now I feel myself pulled in a different direction.

I still participate in exhibits occasionally

but my focus has been more on

what good can I do through sharing my talents

rather than how much money can I make

by selling them.

 

Though service I’ve found that

the opportunities are endless..

and the results make you rich beyond measure.