Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Painting: Moon Eye [tentative title]

Moon Eye
12'' x 48''
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Greetings to you!

I'm happy to share with you my latest completed painting which is yet to be officially named. It was started back in early/mid 2009 and was set aside for quite some time with a few other paintings that are unfinished.

Now, I love sharing the back story of my paintings with you, however for this one, I can't really remember what sparked the idea [click here for a little more insight into my memory]. At the time, I was working on pieces that were all different from one another so this is the only painting I've done in this style.

I Did It Because I Wanted To Do It
Though I don't remember what it was inspired by, I can tell you how it was done. I took a picture of myself with a fan covering half of my face. The fan was what I had used as part of my Geisha costume for Halloween back in 2007. I liked the picture but I wanted it to be different but using some bright colors as if it was a negative of a picture. With a little GIMP magic, I altered the original photo by introducing some blues and greens.

Full Moons
Doing that also created an option for what to do with my eye. I originally thought I would paint my eye as is but quickly realized that the negative of something black/dark brown is something very light. Then what came to mind was the moon. There are evenings of the full moon when it is incredibly bright in the dark night sky. So why know paint my eye as the moon!

I tucked my other eye away behind the shadow of the fan. With all that, here is a really cool painting (in my biased opinion :-))

If you want to, you are more than welcome to let me know your thoughts on it (info@hunterart.com)!

Until the next painting announcement, I wish you all the best and a Happy and Joyful New Year!!!

Best regards,

Special shoutout to Mr. Chuck Lau for taking photos of my latest completed works! Check out his photography portfolio by visiting http://chucklau.smugmug.com/

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Painting: "Don't You Remember?"

Don't You Remember?
39'' x 16''
Acrylic and Wire on Stretched Canvas

With this third painting in my Brain series, I explore memory.

How's your memory?

I know mine isn't as sharp as I would like it to be. Sometimes I remember something with little effort yet most of the time, it takes several links being connected for a memory to come back. There are times as well when I wouldn't recall something at all. I know at least that I have plenty of company when it comes to such things.

Trying to concentrate on the task at hand.

The composition for this painting came together fairly quickly. Minimal colors or distractions. Painting the brain as wire and including my hands were always in the original idea. Hanging the brain from a wire freed up my hands to work on connecting remaining wires.

Sometimes recalling one instance can lead to similar memories surfacing.

I've represented the brain using wire. Real wire is actually incorporated into the piece as well. The twisted wire is attached from the top of the canvas and ends at the top of the brain. I chose to represent the brain with wire because I feel that connections need to be made for a memory to surface. Showing that wires are linked or bonded together is done by painting 2 or more wires twisted together throughout the brain structure.

 Friends give clues, I try to make the connection

You'll see that there are parts of the wire that are not connected. I chose to include my hands trying to connect those wires. This is how I'm representing the effort it takes for me to recall some things. Places, dates, people are some clues that help remind me of something that happened. 

There is a reason the wires are disconnected at the bottom part of the brain: Temporal Lobe

The temporal lobe, houses the part of the brain that controls memory called hippocampus. It happens to be located in the southern hemisphere of the brain. Therefore that seems like an appropriate area to have the wires disconnected. Of course my paintings are not trying to be anatomically accurate but it's interesting to learn more about how the brain works during the progression of this series.

As usual, here are some in progress shots:

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

Brain series (so far):
Painting 1: Past, Present, Future or Dreaming

Painting 2: Caffeine Headache

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Work in progress post: (wired brain) #3 in the Brain series

Hello ladies and gentlemen,

While I continue to work towards completing at least one painting a month, I wanted to keep you posted on what I've been up to on a fairly regular basis. 

Here are a couple of in progress pics of my latest painting (title to be determined):

The third painting in my Brain series involves a brain that is both made from and hanging from wire. Through a good friends suggestion, real wire will be incorporated into the piece. It will at least be what the brain is hanging from. An idea for how it would be attached to the canvas was found while visiting artist studios in hoboken recently. It will be a cool addition to the piece (thanks Kathleen for the idea). 

The hands in the painting are my own. I haven't decided what my sleeves will be. The sketch on canvas of my hands were done on casting a shadow over the canvas, so my right hand sketched the sillouhette of my left hand and my left hand managed to sketch my right hand. Adjusting the distance between my hand and the canvas was an easy way to get the hands the size i wanted them to be in the painting. At some point I'll take a picture of my hands in those positions so I can paint the detail when the time comes.

Explanation of why the brain is made of wire will be included in my post once the painting is completed (aiming for the end of this month). Stay turned and thank you for our interest in my work- I greatly appreciate it!


Brain series (so far):
Painting 1: Past, Present, Future or Dreaming

Painting 2: Caffeine Headache

Friday, October 8, 2010

Caffeine Headache

Me: Hi...My name is Michelle
Audience: Hi Michelle
Me: Hi. I've been addicted to caffeine and didn't even realize it until I started getting these migraines....

And that folks is the inspiration for this latest painting called "Caffeine Headache."

Caffeine Headache
24'' x 24''
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Have you experienced these headaches? For me, I used to usually have one cup of coffee during the week at work. Thought nothing of it. Every now and then I would get migraines either late in the afternoon and/or on the weekends. Then they began to happen frequently enough over the course of several months where I became concerned and wanted to figure out what the cause was. So, I began to keep track of them and noticed they occurred when I didn't have coffee yet that day. Migraines suck and I was happy to finally figure out the cause so I can determine how to proceed. The solution, for me, was to cut back significantly on the coffee and why not create a painting too.

Here we have a cup on a table where the brain throbbing so much that it's cracking what confines it. The brain is also warm and starting to overheat. What is draining from the cup is up for discussion. Initially I intended it to be coffee. After sharing the work with a friend, they thought it was brain fluid. Interesting interpretation. So the fluid is what you make of it. If coffee, then I feel that my brain is wanting to get rid of what it doesn't need. If brain fluid...then I better stop whatever it is that I'm doing to myself!

As always, I love to hear your thoughts if you care to share them: mhunterart@gmail.com

Lastly, here are just a couple of in progress pics [please give it a moment to load]. Unfortunately, earlier shots of the painting were lost when I lost my camera. Enjoy!!

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Painting: Which image matches your state of mind?

Hi friends,
There are various states of mind which we could find ourselves at any moment of our life. Yet, which is the one we can control and act upon in our reality? The past, present, future or dreaming?

In my opinion, the past and future are useful states of mind only when referred to as needed, not lived in. Dreaming (day or night) is another form of escaping this moment of reality, avoiding what's real.

With that said, I present this new painting to you.

Present, Past, Future or Dreaming
20'' x 24''
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

I chose rubix cubes because I feel it represents how our minds are nearly always in flux while there are moments when things may feel connected either just because or something was achieved. The rods connecting the four cubes reflect that.

Have you tried solving a rubix cube, think you solved it when you see one side was solved, but then you turn it around to find that another color was out of place? Another area to be resolved. That is represented here by the colors on the front of the cube matching. In these various states on mind, we are achieving something or getting something out of it (to escape, pulling references to help with a situation, remembering what it is that we want to look forward to). In a way we are rationalizing that train of thought and perhaps not recognizing that the nothing can be acted on in these other states, but at least the colors match from what I'm allowing myself to see.

Now what's the deal the the scrambled brains? Well I asked earlier in this post, which state of mind is the one we can control and act upon in our reality? I hope your answer was the present, this is where your brain, your mind, is in a state to be of most use or at its near full potential. Could it reach that in any other state of mind? The other images are then representing the mind in its non-actionable state. Whatever was sought after in the part, escaped from in dreaming or looking forward to in the future aren't useful if you are not either immersed, aware, or enjoying the present.

An example would be riding the train. What's going through your head? Thinking about where you are coming from, where you are going, what you are going to do when you get there, daydreaming, etc. What does any of all that though have to do with the present? Are you able to be present and just enjoy the ride?

Here are some in progress shots for you:

~Michelle Hunter

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Some drawings from Central Park done on a beautiful NYC day

Hi there,

This past Saturday, I finally attended an event hosted by the Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group. We met at Fredrick Douglas Avenue and 110th street where over 10 artists began doing some warm up sketches of whatever was around us as we waited for more people to arrive. Here is as far as I got with my warm up sketch of a nearby lamp post.

After about 10 minutes after I arrived, the group begins our venture to The Blockhouse. 

At this spot we spent about an hour and a half and did two sketches in that time. After each sketching session, everyone lines up their sketch books so we can check out each other's work.

The next two drawings are those I did at the Blockhouse. For the first one, I focused on a hole in one of the walls which was probably used as a lookout point. I wanted to focus on that opening, getting a glimpse of what was behind the brick wall.

The second sketch was of the iron gated door which was the entrance to the structure. Many sketchers chose this spot for their first sketch. It was certainly an interesting spot so I wanted to take a crack at it as well. Instead of just drawing the door, I wanted to look more within the door. Therefore I spent more time on the brick wall beyond the door.

Honestly, I haven't been a big fan of sketching. I would rather paint. That provides more 'instant' gratification due to it being more freeing and comfortable. This experience was really nice though to be in  group setting exploring new areas of the Park.

While drawing there's no time so for me, I get caught up in capturing what's in front of me and I'll work on it until I'm satisfied. It was such a beautiful Saturday in NY too that it was just a great experience to be among fellow artists capturing our perspective of what was around us.

Below is the last sketch done with the group at The Ravine near the northern end of the park. I didn't know there was a mini waterfall in the Park. It was so relaxing. I scoped out the area a bit before I settled on focusing on a branch in the water. I don't think I tried drawing moving water before (excluding waterfalls themselves). The end result came out pretty well I think. The other aspect of the scene was trying to capture the sunlight reflecting off of the branch and the water. Not easy at all but I tried.

This was really fun to do. I'm looking forward to the next time I can make to the meetup events.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Self Portrait: "Oh no! I think you've figured me out!!"

Well hello there. Now that I am finished with school, more frequent art updates will come. My right brain is grateful :)

Many of you may have seen this drawing already as it was my profile picture on Facebook for a while. Here's the story behind it.

Oh no! I think you've figured me out!
Colored pencil on paper
8'' x 10''

The idea of doing another self portrait came about when The ArtHouse announced having a Self Portrait exhibition. The rules were pretty minimal: no larger than 8x10 with the frame and had to show some resemblance of a face. No biggie. I had recently bought a solved rubix cube for a painting idea and was brain storming of how I wanted this portrait to be. I wanted to do something different from the standard but something with meaning. At first I was thinking to use objects in my life that would shape the features of my face (for example a paint brush bending into the shape of my nose), but I scraped that idea-it just didn't feel right so I needed to think of something else. At my laptop looking for images for the painting, I was turning the cube from one side to the other, looking at it face on and at its angles, looking at the placement of my hands on the cube. Then when the side of the cube that was all white came up, the idea stuck me for the portrait.

I feel that I am in a part of my life where I am coming together. Disjointed pieces of me are being identified (by myself and others) and I'm working on putting them in a more productive and cohesive position. Having a better idea of what I want, planning for it and working to make it happen and working on being more real with people. Always easier said than done but I'm working on taking those steps to get to my goals. I've already achieved a few of the goals I set for myself this year while others are proving more difficult. Those obstacles are helping me discover new capabilities, a process that will be complete when I die.

So this portrait of myself, at this point of my life, is a perfect way of saying YO! I'm being figured out! Things are coming together! My friends have a better sense of me as I continue to open up. I'm being more accepting of myself. It's refreshing. I wonder what my next self portrait will be like :) We shall see. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Painting. Allow me to introduce "My Cell to Unlock"

"My Cell to Unlock"
20'' x 20''
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Hello readers,

There are times (more frequently than not) where I either don't want to say what's really on my mind or feel that I should say something but I don't know what it is. I can't even to begin to express how frustrating that can be and each instance just leads to a dangerous self-destructive series of thoughts. So I've developed the bad habit of not speaking up. Now I can do my share to hold a conversation but when there's something I don't say the effect is me only listening to what's being said or just being an observer in a room-not having an active presence and not contributing to what's going on. And honestly, there are time when my mind is completely blank. Of course I won't/don't have something to say about anything and everything but I can ask questions, I can learn more about what's going on instead of shutting down. Doing so I feel will help me be in the moment, relate to friends on a deeper level and learn more from and about those around me.

Let me talk more about this painting.

When I started the painting (can be seen in the slideshow images-link below) the background was going to be gray. Once I finished the background it wasn't sitting right with me so I had to pick another color. I chose a deep blue to resemble the color of a blue Sapphire (sapphire is my birthstone-props to the September babies). I had recently read up on its meaning which is honesty and foresight so the color couldn't be more perfect for this painting.

I took a picture of my mouth for this piece. I thought about using reference photos for this but it's my issue I'm dealing with so of course my own mouth would be most appropriate. At first I thought that I would have the bars more up front where the teeth are, but holding back isn't something that's on the surface for me. This is deep within so the bars felt more appropriate at the back of the throat. The uvula (little dangily thing at the back of your throat) was a perfect spot for placing a key. I felt that painting the mouth in color would take away from the presence of the key in back so I painted it in black/white.

The key is placed behind the bars because you (the reader and anyone outside of me) can't free me from this. It's my cell to unlock. The freedom/ability to express lies within me however growing up, I put each of those jail bars in place. What comes out of me presently is filtered through the bars. I am more conscious of it now that thoughts that make me uncomfortable or thoughts where I end up over thinking, lie to waste behind the bars. No one benefits from this. You may imagine that reversing this bad habit will be hard and it will, but these bars are becoming more and more uncomfortable with each breath.

Therefore beginning immediately, I am taking steps to feel more comfortable expressing emotion from anger, contentment, sadness, frustrating, etc. Now that doesn't mean blurting out anything that comes to mind. There are steps to communicating effectively. It isn't just what I want to say but also how the other person will interpret and react to what's said and checking in that the person interpreted correctly what I wanted to express. There must certainly be thought on my part before saying what I want in a clear and constructive way. I can't control your emotions just as you can't control mine, but I should take into consideration how you may react.

With all that said, I'm very fortunate to have my close friends to help me dismantle these bars (thank you...you know who you are). I look forward to my release.


[To view a slideshow of the painting in progress, click here: http://www.rockyou.com/show_my_gallery.php?source=ppsl&instanceid=156018288]