What does it mean to be engaged with this particular place and body at this particular moment? That's a question that painting challenges me to ponder. Because things happen while I'm painting that tickle my inquisitive brain and soothe my restless body. I find these things irresistible—the centering I feel in front of the canvas, the transcendent moment when surface and paint and motion begin to meld into something that pushes me farther than I thought I was able to go. My outward environment and inner concerns turn mysteriously to color and form. I look up, three hours have passed, and it felt like three minutes.
My art-making practice examines this kind of engagement while questioning traditional painting gestures and methods. It is a meditation on pattern and rhythm, on process and repetition, on body and mind. Interacting colors, forms, and layers of paint make meaning not only via the gestures that created them, but through their references to everyday acts like walking, eating, exploring wild places, scrubbing the bathtub, listening, conversing, loving, and longing—all the things that make a life.
What does it mean to be engaged with this particular place and body at this particular moment? I think I'll go pick up a paintbrush and keep wondering.
Artist and naturalist Michelle Louis has a vigorous curiosity about the natural world. Her abstract landscape paintings cultivate connection to the lands she explores.
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