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Author: Michelle Paine

Tips to Keep the Creativity through Change and Mommy-hood

  School is starting, and this is only the third year of my (somewhat middle-aged) life when I have not somehow been professionally involved in that event. Lots changed for me when we moved to Ohio a couple years ago. I am no longer teaching (too long a commute from Ohio to Massachusetts). I no …

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The Pope’s Prayer Intention: For Artists

This reflection was first published on The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network in August, 2017.  This month Pope Francis asks the world to pray for artists: That artists of our time, through their ingenuity, may help everyone discover the beauty of creation.  The Pope’s Prayer Intention for Artists invites us to ask: How can we become …

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Mind-Body-Spirit Connection: Drawings and Gifts

    Mind-body-spirit: expression and science When I was in my early twenties I lived in Italy for several years, and it was there that I began to be more conscious of the mind-body-spirit connection. I had a friend who was a physician and dance instructor. She beautifully integrated the emotional and the scientific in her very …

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Sacred Architecture Paintings: Building Inspiration

Architectural Paintings Sacred Spaces Presence

Exhibit At Perrysburg Municipal Building I have been so impressed at the way several communities here in Northwest Ohio are thinking outside the box for ways to bring art into public spaces. My sacred architecture paintings and prints will be exhibited at the Perrysburg Municipal Building from March 6-April 24. The exteriors of local churches …

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The Monks of Norcia: Re-Building Tradition after the Earthquakes

From now until November 4, 2016 I will donate 50% of net proceeds from the sale of original artwork on www.michellepaine.com and my Etsy store to the Monks of Norcia Foundation to assist in re-building after the 2016 earthquakes. Re-Building Culture: Then and Now The Monks of Norcia know what it means to re-build. In the year 2000, the …

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Moments and Memories: Three Reasons I Love Painting Commissions

When I was a child I wanted to be an architect. I understood early on how built space shapes our human experience. I channel this love of architecture into my work painting commissions for collectors who desire to bring those experiences into their home. We all have specific places (outdoors, indoors, public, private…) that hold an important …

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Drawing the Nude – A Celebration of the Image of God

When people find out I go to a figure drawing group on Wednesday nights, they sometimes ask, “Isn’t that weird? I mean, you’re there drawing, and the model isn’t wearing clothes??” Michelangelo is famous for celebrating the world’s creation his beautiful, statuesque nudes… and Church leaders are famous for, years later, painting loincloths over them. …

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Orvieto and the Feast of Corpus Domini: Incarnation and the Arts

Orvieto was the birthplace for the feast of the Eucharist, called Corpus Domini, and one of the major feasts of the Catholic church. The Cathedral of Orvieto holds a treasure – a number of them, really, including frescos by Luca Signorelli, Gentile di Fabriano, and Fra Angelico. But its spiritual treasure is a relic from …

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Orvieto – Destination of the Heart

  Orvieto: In my dreams I walk your streets and speak your language, walking the halls of ancient convents and eating at the table of dear friends. You are always my destination, though sometimes, like last night, the bus misses the turn to cross the river and ascend and we end up in a field …

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Figure Drawing – Proportion and Propulsion

  Figure Drawing has always been an anchor for me. It was how I began my serious study of art when I was a Freshman at Gordon College. The human figure is the most beautiful, most complex, and most difficult subject there is. While everyone’s proportions are very nearly the same, yet every individual is unique. …

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Borders Exhibit

I am pleased to be able to participate in the Kreft Annual Juried Art Exhibit at Concordia University Ann Arbor again this spring. The theme of the exhibit is “Boundaries, Borders and Thresholds” and my monoprint “Approaching Dawn” will be included. This print is a part of the series exploring the Virgin Mary, and the …

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Watercolor Play at Danforth Art

I’ve been having a lot of fun teaching a Beginning Watercolor class at the The School at the Danforth Museum of Art has high quality Adult and Children’s classes and I have been very privileged to teach there for the last couple of years. Superior research paper help from dedicated writers! One of the great …

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Custom Painting: Creative Family Gift

I wanted to share this custom painting commission: a panoramic view of the family cottage. My brother-in-law commissioned this wonderfully creative gift for the entire family. It is a series of paintings of his (and my husband’s) parents’ summer cottage. He wanted something that each family – siblings and parets – could have to remember …

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Body and Soul Exhibit

Oil painting on Canvas: Reflections: ON the Edge ©Michelle Arnold Paine

This painting – one of the newer ones in my series of Figurative Paintings reflecting on the Virgin Mary – is on its way to the Kreft Arts Center at Concordia University Ann Arbor to be included in the juried exhibit “Body and Soul”. Artworks in the exhibit can be viewed on the Kreft Arts …

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Summer Juried Show at White Stone Gallery

This Friday, July 11 will be the opening for the Summer Juried Exhibit at White Stone Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. I am very excited to have my painting Pilgrimage: St. Peter’s accepted in the show and to be able to participate in a show at a gallery who represents such fine artists as Makoto Fujimura, …

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"Paint the Hill" Plein Air Event

Summer is on its way and that is time for painting outdoors! Beacon Hill Civic Association and Sloane Merrill Gallery are hosting a plein air event as a fundraiser for the BHCA. Thirty artists will be assigned different spots on Boston’s scenic Beacon Hill and will all be painting like crazy from 10-4 Saturday, June …

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About my Journey…

You’ve probably noticed that much of the subject matter of my work has Christian undertones – church architecture, references to the Virgin Mary, as well as to aspects of art history related to the Christian faith. If you have every wondered exactly where that comes from on a personal level, you can listen to this …

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Gulliver Reclining

Another drawing from my figure drawing session a couple of weeks ago. This pose was extremely difficult: the “corpse pose”, as it is known in yoga. Initially I was sitting at his elbow, looking straight on – all horizontal lines and no compositional interest at all, so I had to move around a little bit …

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Anatomy Simplified

Last night I attended the second session of a workshop on Drawing Figures from the Imagination: Anatomy Simplified, offered by Damon Lehrer of the Boston Figurative Art Center. The idea of visualizing anatomic forms as 3-dimensional volumes is not new to me, but he was able to provide some additional insights into anatomic details and …

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January Snow Landscape

Happy New Year! 2014 is full of promise. I have had a small bout of cleaning and re-organizing (very small!), I am moved into my new studio (pictures of that to come), and we are now in the depths of winter. I’m mostly painting at the studio these days, but here is a painting from …

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Annunciation/Birth

figurative,oil on canvas,8x8, price $300,Annunciation after Solario

The Feast of the Annunciation was moved to April 8 this year, since March 25 fell during Holy week. The Annunciation celebrates the moment when the angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will bear the Savior. This series of Annunciation master studies I have shared over the last months is about waiting, and the expectation of new life. At times this "new life" has been a metaphor for new beginnings, forgiveness, spiritual renewal, but in 2012 the time of waiting was literal, as I waited, in pregnancy, for my baby girl to be born...

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Transcriptions: After Beccafumi

Annunciation after Beccafumi, Oil on Canvas, 6x6 ©2012

Another in my series of Annunciation transcriptions. The original Mannerist painting was completed in 1546 by Italian Domenico Beccafumi and is currently in the little town of Sarteano near Siena, Italy. I'm not always a fan of Mannerism, but I like the mirrored swooping curves in this painting and the sense of motion it creates, so different from the very still, stable Annunciations of Fra Angelico.

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Church of the Transfiguration, Cape Cod

A few weeks back we spent the weekend on Cape Cod for a little get-away. One of our excursions was to the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, Massachusetts. The Community of Jesus is an ecumenical Benedictine community made up of brothers (friars), sisters (nuns), and laypeople. They began building this testament of faith in 1997, hiring architects, liturgical consultants, and artists from all over the world to complete the narrative of salvation the building tells.

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Annunciation after Duccio

Annunciation after Duccio, Oil on Canvas, 6x6, ©Michelle Arnold Paine

What is the purpose of "copying" a work of art? Franklin Enspruch phrases it like this in a review of Wendy Artin's series of watercolors of the Elgin Marbles: "She is at once paying the sculptures due homage, studying them for artistic clues, and using them to reach upward in ambition and scale."

Somehow, in entering in to someone else's creation, one often emerges at the other end with a clearer, renewed sense of voice and direction.

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2012 Olympics and Run with the Fire

Beacon, Michelle Arnold Paine painting oil on canvas

The Olympics are always an Event: even non-sports fans like me turn on their televisions to watch the grace, strength, speed and beauty of what the human body can accomplish. The passing of the torch leading up to the Olympics is also a moving part of the event; it is expressive of our human journey on this earth, of friendship across nations, and fraternity even in competition. I am excited to be included in a digital exhibit which will be released in tandem with the London Olympics.

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Team Drawing: Collaboration and Creativity

The compositions of frescoes by Masaccio, Piero della Francesca, Luca Signorelli (to name only a few), are so complicated they can be overwhelming for a viewer -- and even more overwhelming for a student of drawing. I have found that working on a team and looking for simple moments of overlap and intersection can allow an entry point into serious investigation of some of these masterpieces.

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New Church Interior Drawings

When classes are in session I don't always have the time I would like to engage in long studio sessions, but I always try and keep things moving by doing small drawings, watercolor studies, or even just taking a few minutes during my figure drawing class time to make a few gesture drawings while the model is posing. These drawings are some small studies I did in my parish church (Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton).

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Sketchbook – Art Institute of Chicago

I visited the Art Institute of Chicago on Thursday during my vacation for their Target-sponsored Free Thursday evenings. What a wonderful a gift to the people of Chicago city to offer free admission from 5-8pm once a week - there was a line to enter at 5:00 and the museum was packed with people all evening. The new wing is huge, with the capacity to give their spectacular collection of 20th century art the viewing space it deserves.

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Summer Exhibit

Summer is a time for water and blue sky -- I have had some opportunities to make some small drawings, but also to hang an exhibit of my church interiors at a local venue. Prints, paintings, and drawings of my series of architectural interiors will be on exhibit during the month of July.

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"Resurrection" – Goetemann, Mahler, Signorelli and Maitani

On Friday I made a little trip to see a cycle of paintings by  Gordon Goetemann at Andover-Newton Theological School in Newton Center, MA. The cycle of large paintings is inispired by Gustav Mahler's 2nd Symphony in C Minor -- the "Resurrection" symphony. I had found out about it from a friend who had seen the show at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester. We were both interested in it because of the time we spent in Orvieto, where there are two great artworks representing the Resurrection of the Flesh...

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The Call to Beauty –

Our Lady of the Barren Tree

Cardus has just published another of my paintings in their online journal Comment.

Our Lady of the Barren Tree is an image of hope: the strange beauty of winter, in which it requries faith to believe that trees and grass are only "sleeping" and will return with new life and growth.
The tree, the vine, the branches – these images evoke the memory of Eve in the garden of Eden whose disobedience eventually brought on the exile of humanity from paradise. Eve's disobedience was eventually redeemed in the act of Mary’s obedient “May it be to me as you have said”.

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New Landscape Painting: Cemetery

I am very excited about this new landscape painting from this beautiful summer day. The Cemetery is right on the Charles River and very beautiful. It is a very peaceful place to work -- and attracts quite a bit of traffic as walkers from nearby offices take their lunch break. I hope to return to complete more paintings there as the year progresses.

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Teaching in Italy — Soon!

This is one of those days I would love to be back in Italy – it is warm, but not too warm, but somehow the lure of my suburban street is not as strong as the lure of an Italian street – when I am there I am always pulled outdoors to smell and see and greet and experience some one or some thing that is “new”. But part of the lure is that there is so much that is not new – it is the very, very old which is so appealing.

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