passion

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.

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.

 

 

Painting and the Art of Relativity

small things

Leaf and Blackberry by Michele Bledsoe

 

Every time I sit in front of a blank canvas

I pour everything I’ve got into it.

Everything.

Doesn’t matter it’s 3″ x 5″..

I will release my universe

into something

that can fit into the palm

of my hand.

There is no other way..

It’s all or nothing.

Just as all the mystery and fullness of life

can squeeze itself into a single

moment..

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.

 

 

Painting Under a Deadline and the Art of Being Oblivious

r m painting

 

Recently, my husband and I took part

in a group art session where we had about an hour

to create a painting.

When time was up,

Richard created a beautiful painting of an octopus

and I had painted a small leaf in the corner of my otherwise blank canvas.

Usually, I do not participate in this kind of event..

I am a slow painter.

Oblivious to the passing of time,

and unconcerned by the expectation to finish my work..

I picked up my paintbrush

put my head down

and disappeared.

 

The Desire to Create and the Art of Embracing Your Gift

The Bridge by Michele Bledsoe

The Bridge by Michele Bledsoe

 

The desire to create is a gift from God.

 

The ceaseless passion to paint and draw

has been with me since childhood..

and by embracing this gift

it has defined my path in life

and led me to my purpose.

 

By nature,

the gift is selfless.

It has nothing to do with

the empty pursuit

of fame and fortune..

it is so much more than that.

 

Through art,

I met my husband

made friends..

and forged relationships.

Through art,

I became a volunteer drawing teacher

for a group of inner city kids..

and began working with young adults within the autism spectrum.

 

As an artist

I’ve found that’s it’s not all about me..

I am just a paintbrush in God’s hand.

 

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.