All Posts By

Michelle Paine

gold mixed media painting contemporary icon

Contemporary Icons: Gold Silhouettes

By | Art and Faith, Painting, Virgin Mary, Figures

My newest series of Gold Silhouette paintings are meant to be contemporary icons, modern interpretations of traditional icons. Whether architecture or figure, even landscape, my work has always centered on a theme of convergence between heaven and earth. Similarly, these new mixed media pieces juxtapose the expressive minimalist quality of my figure drawings with the other-worldly materials of metal leaf and paint inspired by iconography.

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Spiritual Nudes: Theology and Empathy in Monoprints

By | Printmaking, Virgin Mary, Figures, Press and Publications

Her figures, far from the classical ideal of beauty, retain the brokenness of humanity, a brokenness that is both spiritual and physical. At the same time, Paine preserves their dignity and value, arguing that man’s design is not wholly evil. In each of these figures the signs of life and death are evident, like permanent and deep marks that cannot be wiped away.

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Saint Joseph Maumee Watercolor

By | Architecture, Art and Faith, Commissions, Painting

After I painted the Historic Church of Saint Rose in Perrysburg last year, a local family suggested a painting of Saint Joseph Parish across the river as a special anniversary gift. Her parents were married at St. Joseph Parish in Maumee, Ohio. Since they are still parishioners there, she thought a painting of the historic church would be a memorable gift to celebrate their years together. The architecture of churches communicates the eternal, where God comes to earth…

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notre dame drawing in process

Notre Dame Cathedral Drawing

By | Architecture, Art and Faith, Drawing

A few days before Easter we all watched in shock as fire enveloped a great monument of Christian architecture, Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. Just a few days before I had discussed with my two homeschool co-op classes about Pope Benedict XVI’s charge to be “custodians of beauty”. In his address to artists in 2009 he tasked artists with the responsibility of being “custodians of beauty”. I strongly believe the call is to all of us.

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Architectural Paintings Sacred Spaces Presence

Sacred Architecture Paintings: Building Inspiration

By | Architecture, Art and Faith, Exhibits and Events, Painting, Italy

The exteriors of local churches shape the landscape of daily life-about-town, but their interiors have helped shape spiritual lives for centuries. In Europe, cavernous sacred spaces were built for throngs of religious activity, but now hold only shadows of those presences. The shapes of archways reaching towards heaven, the rhythm of dark and light passing through complex spaces inspire a sense of quiet awe and shadowy mystery.

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

By | Art and Faith, Italy

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 the Miracle of Bolsena, the miracle which was the final impetus in the church’s decision to institute the festival of Corpus Domini: “Body of the Lord”. This feast is a reminder to artists and non-artists alike that Art and Beauty can model the Incarnation in the world.

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Orvieto – Destination of the Heart

By | Art and Faith, Italy

There are some experiences in life that stay with us far, far deeper and longer than measurable space and time would warrant. In my early 20s I spent three years working for the Gordon-in-Orvieto program in Orvieto, Italy. The experiences and the people continue to live so vividly within me that the distance of time and space does not seem possible.

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Park Street Arts Exhibit: Pilgrimage

By | Architecture, Art and Faith, Exhibits and Events, Painting | No Comments

As a part of Park Street Arts, my series of architectural interiors will be on view at Park Street Church in the heart of Boston until October 19, 2013. This exhibit of paintings and prints is entitled Pilgrimage. The one-point perspective which dominates the compositions implies a destination. Our lives here on earth are the journey to that destination, a pilgrimage journey towards God.

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Annunciation/Birth

By | Art and Faith, Painting, Virgin Mary, Motherhood and Art-Making | No Comments

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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Fede I, Oil on Canvas, 12x12, Architecture, Price $600

Convergence Exhibit – Reception March 23

By | Architecture, Art and Faith, Exhibits and Events, Painting | No Comments

On display now at the Ashland Public Library is a series of my prints and paintings entitled Convergence. The title “Convergence” has two origins, and these two meanings themselves “converge” in the paintings. In part, “convergence” describes how, in ecclesiastical architecture in particular, celestial and terrestrial converge in built space.

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Annunciation after David by Michelle Arnold Paine

Annunciation after David

By | Art and Faith, Exhibits and Events, Painting, Virgin Mary, Italy | No Comments

This Annunciation transcription will be included in the exhibit Compassion: The Good Samaritan, opening at Adams ArtSpace, Harvard College, Cambridge this weekend.

The Annunciation is the moment when God comes to earth – when human and divine come together to become incarnate in Jesus, Savior of the world. The Incarnation, God’s greatest act of compassion.

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Annunciation after del Cossa

By | Art and Faith, Painting, Virgin Mary, Italy | No Comments

Appropriate to post another Annunciation transcription today, the Feast of the Archangels (Gabriel, Michael and Raphael). This particular Renaissance Annunciation infuses Classical architecture into the Biblical story of the Gabriel’s announcement to Mary. The painting also shows off the artists’ knowledge of perspective in the way that the artist places the angel in the foreground.

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

Transcriptions: After Beccafumi

By | Art and Faith, Painting, Virgin Mary, Italy | No Comments

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 Art Tour

By | Architecture, Art and Faith | No Comments

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, Oil on Canvas, 6x6, ©Michelle Arnold Paine

Annunciation after Duccio

By | Art and Faith, Painting, Virgin Mary, Italy | No Comments

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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Oil painting Annunciation after Lorenzetti ©Michelle Arnold Paine 2012

Annunciation after Lorenzetti

By | Art and Faith, Painting, Virgin Mary, Italy | No Comments

I love the brilliant blue and of Mary and her contemplative gaze in the Annunciation altarpiece by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Lorenzetti was a Sienese painter in the first half of the 14th century and this work of his is presently housed in the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Siena, Italy. My version is tiny, only 6″ x 6″, but I’m looking for the contemplative quality he captures.

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Beacon, Michelle Arnold Paine painting oil on canvas

2012 Olympics and Run with the Fire

By | Art and Faith, Exhibits and Events | No Comments

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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Figure Summer

By | Drawing, Exhibits and Events, Teaching, Figures | No Comments

This summer has been a wonderful summer for figurative art – both in my own work and in Boston! I have been regular attending a few figure drawing groups and really enjoying the opportunity to really engage with the figure outside the classroom. I have been so busy the last couple of years teaching my figure classes that I haven’t actually taken much opportunity.

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stpeters-sm

In honor of John Paul II on his Beatification

By | Architecture, Art and Faith, Italy | No Comments

Some recent paintings and drawings of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, on the occasion of the beatification of Pope John Paul II. John Paul II prayed for a “Primavera dello Spirito”: a Springtime of the Spirit. His prayer for a “Springtime of the Spirit” was answered in a multitude of ways, from the flood of youth who attended the World Youth Days (which he began).

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Cover of Ruminate Magazine

Sound and Silence

By | Architecture, Art and Faith, Exhibits and Events, Painting, Press and Publications | No Comments

The theme of the winter issue of Ruminate magazine was “Sound and Silence”, and I was pleased that two of my prints and one of my paintings were chosen to as a visual representation of the theme. Sojourners Magazine’s Julie Polter recently said Ruminate has “staked a claim in the publishing borderlands where grit and religious devotion”.

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Team Drawing: Collaboration and Creativity

By | Drawing, Teaching | No Comments

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

By | Architecture, Drawing | 4 Comments

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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Finished Commission for Jamaica Plain Parish

By | Architecture, Commissions, Painting | No Comments

I am pleased to be able to share the completed painting for Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. I worked on this painting through the spring and finally finished in July. I love being able to share my love for church architecture with a living community. The painting has been printed into notecards for sale for the benefit of the parish.

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Vuillard

Sketchbook – Art Institute of Chicago 2

By | Painting | No Comments

This is the second post of my “sketchbook” from my visit to the Art Institute of Chicago.

French painter Jean-Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) has always been recommended to me as a colorist, but in this painting “Vuillard’s Room at the Château des Clayes”, I really saw it for the first time. The warmth of the shadows, juxtaposed with the harsh cold gray of the raking sunlight.

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Sketchbook – Art Institute of Chicago

By | Drawing, Painting | No Comments

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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