Richard Bledsoe

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.

Marathon Painting and the Art of Sitting on the Sidelines

pen-and-pencil

 

Recently, my husband Richard participated

in a 48hour Create-A-Thon held inside a church.

As the name suggests,

artists were given 48 hours

to create a work of art

inspired by a specific theme.

Richard has done this before.

Actually, this is the third time.

Me?

I sat in a nearby chair, happily drawing pictures.

Occasionally, people would look over my shoulder

and ask why I was not participating in the event.

I am a slow painter.

I like to linger over my work.

Perhaps if there was a 480 hour marathon,

I’d reconsider.

 

Painting marathon: Day 2

Painting marathon: Day 2

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!”

To Russia, With Love

"Forever" by Michele Bledsoe

“Forever” by Michele Bledsoe

My art has never been so far from home before..

It’s a small painting,

but this little snail

has managed to travel a great distance.

My husband and I are honored to have our work on display in Moscow, Russia..

EXHIBITIONS – Russian Stuckism: Registered in Moscow and Moscow Region

We do not speak Russian,

but our paintings do..

Art is a universal language.

 

Russia

Scene from inside the gallery at the Russian Stuckism: Registered in Moscow and Moscow Region Exhibition.

Another scene from inside the gallery: "Forever" by Michele Bledsoe, and "Diver" by Richard Bledsoe

Another scene from inside the gallery: “Forever” by Michele Bledsoe, and “Diver” by Richard Bledsoe

 

poster

 

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.

 

Objects, Animals and the Art of Taking Requests

002

Sharing the experience of art with a group of inner city kids

is how my husband and I spend our Monday evenings.

We sit elbow to elbow with those beautiful young artists

talking and drawing together.

 

Often, the kids will make requests..

asking us to draw a particular

animal or object..

We are always happy to comply.

So we draw spaceships and unicorns

insects and dinosaurs

Tinkerbell and octopi.

It’s good practice for us as artists..

a test of speed and skill.

 

I am always deeply touched when

of all the wondrous things in their vast and limitless imaginations,

the kids choose to draw us..

sometimes, with an octopus.

 

drawing

 

Inglorious Arizona and the Art of Pushing Your Limits

"The Jail Tree" by Michele Bledsoe

“The Jail Tree” by Michele Bledsoe

My husband Richard and I were honored to be included among the artists selected to create work for INGLORIOUS ARIZONA. In this exciting project, stories about the grittier side of Arizona’s past were assigned to a selection of local artists. Once received, the artists would have about a month to create art inspired by their particular story.

One month may seem like a lot of time..

but not for me.

I am a slow, meticulous painter..

blissfully lingering over my work with tiny brushes.

So, when I submitted my work for consideration

I knew that if I were selected

I would pretty much have to paint non-stop for 30 days.

Did I hesitate?

No.

And during the magnificent painting frenzy that followed

I pushed the limits of my endurance

to the breaking point…

only to discover

that I did not break.

Such is life.