Who are you and what do you do?
I am Michelle Pearson. I live in Derbyshire and I am an artist. I paint in oils. My main style is fine art but I also enjoy creating abstracts. I love creating beautiful floral paintings which I have greeting cards and limited and open ended edition prints made from. I have my originals and cards and prints in gift shops and galleries. I also paint landscapes, seascapes and animals. I also paint murals and canvases for children’s bedrooms.
Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do because it fills me with passion. I come to life when I have a paint brush in my hand and I have a blank canvas staring at me. And ultimately I believe in myself. My world without creativity in it would be a slightly duller one.
What has been a seminal experience?
I have two answers to this question!
1. In two words – my mum. She brought me and my sister up to be creative and free thinking. A childhood without strict boundaries and rules. She would draw and paint, whisk us off to the cinema and playhouse when money allowed. She introduced us to old films and musicals, to gorgeous Devon and her love of the sea.
2. Secondly when I was at college I was searching for someone to research for an essay and I came across the St Ives artists of the 20thCentury. I fell in love with Ben Nicholson, Alfred Wallis and Barbara Hepworth. Also Henry Moore. Their style of painting and creating sculptures was breathtaking. The inspiration they drew on from their surroundings and the light in Cornwall filled me with passion, strength and determination. I went down to St Ives and visited the Tate which luckily at the time had work by most of these artists on display. I also went to Hepworth’s Studio and gardens. And my love for their abstract works was cemented in me.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
Last year I went on a short holiday with my husband to Lake Garda in Italy. We went to a gorgeous little town called Malcesine. It was filled with small streets selling wonderful gifts and art and little bars. I turned down one little street and saw a painting literally hanging on the wall of a building in the sunlight with an arrow beneath pointing to a small artists working studio and gallery. This painting was gorgeous. It was an abstract floral. We entered the gallery and the work inside was magical. I chatted to the artist herself. If I could’ve afforded it I would have bought every painting in the place. I went back home and since then I have created four floral abstracts of my own which I am rather proud of.
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
I think every artist has periods of self doubt. And so it can feel lonely. I counteract it by using social media to keep connected to the network of artists and photographers I am now in touch with. It is fantastic to see all their inspiring creations and to realise that they too have the same feelings as I do. I also enjoy photography so I try and combine this with day to day things when out and about.
I have an admin job two days a week and this keeps me grounded with life outside of art. And also makes me appreciate the fact I have art in my life. I also have two wonderful children who amuse me and also keep me well and truly grounded! And I won’t mention housework!!
What inspires you?
The sun shining through my studio window, a beautiful picture of a flower, a laugh with a friend, a new paint brush, a blank canvas, another artists work in progress, a wet and wild day...it can be anything and everything. Commissions inspire me too. Although the subject often is not what I would choose to paint I draw inspiration from researching the subject and the challenge it poses.
What do you dislike about your work?
I get frustrated when a painting does not turn out how I wanted it to. I am a bit of a perfectionist. I also dislike it when people make enquiries about commissions or buying a painting and then you hear nothing back from them. I think it is very rude.
What do you like about your work?
The most joyous thing about my work is when I hand over a commission or a sold painting/print and I see the look on the customer/clients face. That is priceless and makes everything worthwhile. If it’s a painting I have had to send off then I often receive feedback via email. That too is priceless.
I love the fact I can get lost in a painting and time becomes nonexistent. I also love the feeling I get when I have completed a painting and I leave it overnight. When I go back to it the following day to view it with fresh eyes and it brings a smile to my face. That smile is when I personally know I have made a good job J
Favourite or most inspirational place?
I have two favourite and inspirational places. North Devon/Cornwall and The Lake District. When I am in these places I feel wild, free and that creative possibilities are endless. Although to be fair I often find when I holiday in these places I empty my mind and relax which in itself is good for the creative mind. When painting to deadlines I can sometimes feel I am going slightly nuts. I have my own saying: ‘Painting is heaven with a touch of insanity.’
Professionally, what’s your goal?
I hope to continue to grow and express myself in my work and to develop new styles. I would love to think my art can be enjoyed by people all over by having my work in numerous gift shops/galleries throughout the UK. And I hope to always have commissions to keep me on my toes. BUT most importantly of all, I hope I will always enjoy painting.
Michelle will be our artist in the window throughout March, and inside the gallery the first of our exhibition programme will be on display 'The Colour of Spring' with selected artists.