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.



The Art of Painting Below the Surface

“Assemblage” by Michele Bledsoe

If you look at a photograph of me

you see the face I wear,

the body I walk around in

and a few items of clothing;

unlike my paintings..

which show you what I look like

on the inside.

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



For Children of All Ages..

patient nurse

My sister is a Hospice nurse. Several months ago, she gave her copy of The Secret Kingdom to one of her patients: a 90-year-old man who loves poetry.

She tells me that this gentleman reads The Secret Kingdom every night before he goes to bed, and often has her read the entire book aloud to him during her visits. He shares The Secret Kingdom with everyone he knows – from family members to the CNA who comes to help him bathe.

When my sister told me this, I was practically speechless…

When she showed me this picture, I was moved to tears.

Truly, art is for everyone, and The Secret Kingdom is a place that welcomes children of all ages.

The Wolf in the Story

lupus in fabula 001

I call this painting “Lupus in Fabula”.

It is Latin for “The wolf in the story” – meaning “speak of the wolf, and he will come”.

One of my earliest memories was a dream I had as a child.

I was always drawing when I was little. More than anything, I loved to make pictures – all I wanted was to draw well. Even at that early age, I understood that the drawings I made did not look like the things I wanted to draw – the things I saw in my mind. There was some kind of disconnect between my hand and my imagination. How could I close the gap? I remember looking at a reindeer I made – lopsided circle for a body, sticks for legs and something that looked like TV antennas on top of its head. That didn’t look anything like the animal I saw in my imagination.

Then one night, I had a dream.

I was sitting at a table in front of a blank piece of paper. Someone behind me guided my hand as I drew the head of a wolf. They spoke to me in a calm, reassuring voice “It’s easy… you see?” And it was. The wolf looked like a wolf – not a lopsided circle with dark holes for eyes… it had a snout, fur and pointed ears. It was a wolf.

I woke up, grabbed a pencil and paper – and I drew a wolf.

Just like that.

In The Secret Kingdom, I think it’s fitting that the poem I wrote for “Lupus in Fabula” came to me while I was asleep.

I must have been dreaming of wolves again.