Paintings

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

Enthusiasm and the Art of Losing Your Mind

Work in progress, by Michele Bledsoe

 

It is rare when I introduce something new

to my beloved palette of colors…

That is an understatement.

 

But when I returned to my easel

after finally finishing my new book..

it appears that I have wondrously

and joyfully

lost my mind.

 

Without hesitation

I started gathering strange tubes of paint

one after another..

 

And as I fearlessly applied these alien pigments

to my work in progress,

I understood the true meaning of enthusiasm:

To be possessed by God.

 

Cerulean Blue, Sap Green, Yellow Oxide… I had to write them down so I wouldn’t forget.

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.

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.

Migraines and the Art of Pain

The Jail Tree by Michele Bledsoe

 

Excruciating headache

since 2:00 am

curled up

hand clamped over my eye

to keep it from

popping out of my skull

beneath the unyielding pressure.

It went on and on

for hours and hours

coming in terrible waves..

 

When relief came

I was bursting with gratitude..

how wonderful it is

when pain stops.

So I ran to my easel

and painted and painted

with such great joy..

 

The headache did not return..

banished like a demon

in the light of God’s gift.

 

 

Painting and the Art of Not Having a Clue

When I first started painting

I had no idea what I was doing..

but that didn’t matter.

All I needed

was the unshakable

unrelenting desire

to create.

 

Secret Galleries and the Art of Home Repairs

.
We had an art show a few weeks ago
with a single attendee..
the handyman who came to repair our wall.
.
He examined the paintings that surrounded him
while he worked..
and as the plaster dried
he walked around
staring at all the art.
.
He spoke to us about our paintings
and shared stories of his own collection of art..
his father’s landscape paintings
which he treasured.
.
As he was leaving
he thanked us for the experience
and his unexpected trip
into an art exhibit.
.
This is art the way it is meant to be
not cloistered away in a sterile, white-walled gallery
but as a part of everyday life..
living in our homes
like family.
.