Hi! My name is Michelle and I live in Asheville, North Carolina with my best friend and husband Steve, our awesome daughter Ana Rose, Zoe the Dog and a fish named Fluffy. Spending time with my family is my favorite, but creative pursuits are how I like to fill the time in-between.
I'm an illustrator, painter, photographer, crafter, nature enthusiast, professional harpist and general creative.
I've never had any formal art training. But that doesn't stop me from making art or calling myself an artist.
This blog was created with three purposes in mind:
To Be A Platform
For sharing my growing portfolio of art as I continue to learn and grow as an artist.
To Inspire Creativity
And encourage others to make and share their art. Don't let excuses or the limitations of not having the right whatever stop you from making your art. Today is a great day to create something beautiful with the skills and stuff you already have. Limitations and constraints can be great tools for inspiring creativity.
To Open Doors For New Opportunities
My greatest desire, (besides creating art because it makes me happy) is to use my developing talents to help with environmental and conservation efforts. Images tell stories. And often evoke feelings that inspire real change. I've always been passionate about wildlife and natural-world education. I hope my creative efforts will help inspire audiences to appreciate and want to protect what we have left of the natural world.
This is what I love to do.
These are my unique thoughts, experiences, visions, brush strokes and compositions. A collection of things that interest and inspire me, some favorite hobbies and an embarrassing display of my bad humor.
This blog is about embracing limitations, doing what makes you happy and about sharing efforts. The sharing part I believe is especially scary. Opening yourself and your interests up to the possibility of criticism or critique can make you want to puke. But like love, it's better to have put yourself out there than never at all.
This is what I love to do. I hope it inspires you to do what you love to do. Cheers to embracing our unique talents, constraints and brush strokes. To not standing in the way of reaching our full potential. And to the continuous pursuit of happiness and a life well lived!
About the art
Illustrations and Paintings
With enough desire and patience, you can teach yourself anything. I taught myself how to draw. And I practice all the time because it's fun. I also painstakingly taught myself how to use Adobe Illustrator through trial and error and the help of online resources. (That challenge almost had me throwing the computer out the window. But I stuck with it and I'm so glad I did.) I'm completely self-taught as an artist and am still learning. I'd like to engage in formal training someday, but until then I'm still going to create, learn and play.
I don't have any formal photography training either. Nada. I don't even have a camera! Every single photo on this blog was taken on my iPhone. And while I'd love a nice DSLR camera one day, I'm happy to practice with my phone camera for now. And I use the hell out of it, because it makes me happy. The phone camera has plenty of limitations, but I learned how to work with what it can do and let go of the frustrations of what it can't. Constraints in that way always nurture creativity. We learn to do more with less. Limits can help us focus and find creative solutions and approaches to reach our intended goals.
With the addition of some cool macro lenses and photo editing apps, I'm creating beautiful images with what tools and imagination I have now. Some of my photographs are blurrier and poorer quality than I'd like. But they're serving as a current gallery of where I'm at in my photography journey. The camera allows me to stop, admire and appreciate the small things. And I'm having fun! Adding great fulfillment and joy to my life.
That is, after all, what it's all about.