Michelle Dawn

Artist Statement

I've been painting all my life, but have spent the past seven years drenched in color, method and stylizing my art voice. I first began posing the question - what defines a line? Is it the space around it, in it, or is the line defining the space, not the other way around? How close can one object be from another before the identity of each begins to coalesce? For me, it is the simple question of Nature vs. Nurture, how did I come to be me?

One day I looked down at my palette, and like a fortune teller's ball, I began to see stories laid out for me to tell on canvas. Through this door, I began to experience what Schopenhauer describes as aesthetic contemplation. And so, I began transcribing, experiencing in real time, while also hoping to relay some of this process and experience to the audience. The first of these images was the Egg of Creation. 

Ever since, I have been excitedly sharing what I like to think of as other worlds with the perceiver. These images are often labeled abstract, but for me, each one tells a very important mythological story. I have Joseph Campbell to thank; I would often paint an image, and then learn its meaning as I read his books. But many of these archetypes are not known consciously to the audience, so I began a new quest to link the interdimentional to the conscious landscape.

More recently, I began pushing myself to integrate more of the perceiver's known world that the viewer can easily recognize themselves. I am currently focusing my energies on the human figure within the context of this landscape. I have begun using my experiential knowledge to contextualize abstract ideas. 

Over the summer of 2011, I traveled to a small town in Italy to take Mische oil painting lessons. This three week intensive gave me more than skill, more than community. I began having dreams and images from the dream world, and I began working on a method for signing my work. I don't believe the images are mine alone, and that my name imprinted upon the work can obstruct the true message and nature of the image. And yet, I understand that in order for people to find my works, I must put a name or symbol to it to represent the intent I believe I am here to unfold. It was here that I discovered the symbol that I now use and can be seen as my profile image. For me, it means, "May the Divine in these images reach the God in You."

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