Michelle Louise was born on June 13th, 1973 in Sanford Maine the town that she still resides. Her close knit family has been there for three generations. Growing up Michelle studied with a local artist, learning the basics of painting, drawing, and pastels as young 7 years old. She won awards for her childhood art and was granted a retreat at Haystack Mountain school for crafts when she was in High school. She continued on to college to earn her BFA in fine arts. Many things have happened since to inspire and effect her work. In 1995 she was forced to give up an apprenticeship with Salmon Falls Stoneware. This was one of her dreams, having a specialization in Ceramic art from college. She then found solace in staying home with her children and eventually find her way back to painting. Most relative is her story of recovery, From setting out on her own with her three children, leaving an abusive marriage, she has no money, car, job, or even a bank account.
(see attached article that was printed in the Sanford News. ) Gaining strength from her faith and loving support from her family. She saves for canvas purchases, works hard, paints true, and does much research which finally brings her journey to Agora, She has truly beaten diversity to the ground. Her story is truly a story of triumph.
Michelle work is inspired by life, with the vibrant colors that reflect her energetic, positive attitude. She paints mothers and their children, emphasizing the pure connection between the two. Once at a young age having had an eating disorder she is also very passionate about public image and social conditioning that affects young kids, and the general public in regards to their body image. Her work ranges from socially provocative to the simple beauty of a flower.
She is passionate about the process of painting, the completion of her work is based on her emotional feel towards the painting. " I absolutely get tortured by my work, when the creativity isn't working for me I pray for guidance and I just let my hands flow." One of my favorite quotes "if it looks like art then it isn't". I am challenged everyday to paint with my heart and to create emotional, beautiful images of things we see everyday but take for granted.
Her history of abuse and eating disorders make her aware of just how serious social conditioning is. From paintings of women to flowers, the female imagery of power is evident. soft curves and vibrant colors are signature to her work.
"I believe my life is amazingly blessed. From the place I began three years ago to where I am today is miraculous. I have prayed everyday that if I am allowed to be successful that I will live humbly, and use what I have acquired to help others in any way I can."
Notable events in Michelle’s art career are: an international advertising award, for story board animation from business to business magazine, and acceptance into Agora Gallery on West 25th street in the Chelsea Art district of Manhattan.
Michelle wants to eventually create an artist retreat in the western mountains of Hiram Maine. They are already in the planning process, the retreat name is Hiram Hill Art Center. This is a further testament to her dedication to share her talents and help others. She will employ artist from all over, paying artists a fee for a two or four day workshop. In addition it will help students learn life skills that will empower and enrich their lives. "We are going to teach blacksmithing, ceramics, painting, animal husbandry, gardening, self sustainability, and renewable energy."