For Seattle artist Mister Michelle, the feminine form contains inspiration to last a lifetime. Her paintings in acrylic and gold leaf exude a serene but powerful sense of a woman’s strength. The forms in her works resemble monuments at times, with strong vertical lines and curves reminiscent of grand architecture. Michelle renders these works in soft earth tones, contrasting with the lustre of her gold leaf accents. “Aside from bringing depth and texture to my paintings, this delicate yet unyielding metal creates a sense of permanence because of its unwillingness to capitulate to time”. She adds: “Foremost, my mind tends to zero in on the palette of the piece because color is essential to movement and mood. Color ultimately is the heart and soul of each piece, making it the most important aspect of my work.”
Mister Michelle believes the shapes and perceived patterns in her work represent largely unconscious human predispositions. “We may not realize it but our brains are busy working behind the scenes to seek out symmetry when we look at anything and everything. I think we are hard-wired to look for it. Symmetry represents order, and I think we crave order in this strange universe we find ourselves in. A sense of ease and emotional pleasure is felt when our eyes are met with a creatively symmetrical work of art. It helps us make sense of the world.” It’s not all symmetry and straight lines with Mister Michelle, however. “I also enjoy creating work that embraces asymmetrical balance. This form of work can be more intricate and complicated; it can heighten interest, bring formality, or even produce tension in a painting. The intentional imbalance creates movement and excitement in the uncertainty”.
We first met Michelle in the shop, and were instantly charmed by her calm and radiant presence. Upon discovering her art, it only felt natural to partner with her on a show. We’re always inspired by artists who’ve made the leap in discovering their own voice. Robinson is self-taught, which has allowed her to develop and grow according to her intuition. She describes a process “....By trial and error. I learned (and continue to learn) by experiencing life and art firsthand. The young and stubborn artist in me believed I didn't need traditional art education to make my mark”. This individualistic approach is readily visible in Robinson’s work.
For her upcoming show ‘Palingenesia’, Mr. Michelle is exploring the concepts of rebirth and re-creation using techniques somewhat different from her other recent works. The paintings feel like windows into another dimension. Here, gravity has its own rules. Bubbles of marbled indigo hover next to disembodied leaves. Deep black porous forms resembling volcanic rock anchor the ethereal compositions. Robinson’s typical strong vertical lines and symmetry give way to softer expressions. As Mr. Michelle’s visual styles adopt this property of fluidity, her distinctive voice resonates ever clearly.