Sunday, September 5, 2010

An interview with Michaela Cheese

Q – Could you introduce yourself briefly to the readers?

I am 44 year old artist who has had a varied career including time working in health and financial services. After studying art at school and workshops over the years, most notably, life drawing and life sculpting, together with work in abstraction.

Q - How did you become interested in art?

For as long as I can remember I have been excited by shape, colour and texture. I loved art at school, and have continued this interest throughout my adult life by studying and experimenting with various different art mediums.

Venus in acrylic paint 20x24 box canvas

Q - What inspires you most as an artist?

The requirement to be completely unique, playful and energetic – Art is definitely my therapy! For me, art is a visual expression of emotion.

Q - What is your favourite medium or media? Why?

I work mainly on large box canvasses using acrylic paint and mixed media. I like bold energy to leap out of the picture. To achieve this, I need to work quickly, with fast drying paints.

Q - Could you tell us some more about your work?

Currently, I enjoy working in a semi-abstract fashion, which I begin ‘blindly’ by applying colour and texture, with no idea of the ‘end product’. After several hours, if I’m lucky, an idea with materialise and I am able to create a vague suggestion of something recognisable, which is aesthetically pleasing. I have also recently worked on some commissions for modern office developments. These have required the use of a restrained colour palette, and a ‘themed’ approach to painting on a large scale. For a recent commission, I completed a collection of simple bold images of local landmarks for a development in Camden, London, including paintings of the ‘Camden Roundhouse’ and ‘Camden Lock’.

Q - How would you define your style?

Original, modern, and contemporary.

Q - What are your influences; artists from the past or present who inspire you?

I love certain works by : Aubrey Beardsley, Edgar Degas, Eric Ravilious, Pablo Picasso, Jacob Epstein, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque and Salvador Dali, to name but a few!

Q - How do you choose the subjects of your works?

Great modern photography, with good tonal contrast and strong images of interesting subject matter are probably of greatest influence to me, although I try to work intuitively not intellectually.

Mars in acrylic paint 20"x24" box canvas

Q- How do you prepare yourself for an exhibition or a show like the Open Studios?

With great gusto! I am very excited to be entering Swindon Open Studios for the first time and just can’t wait!

Q - Are there territories (media, subjects, etc.) you want to explore in the coming years?

I particularly want to learn traditional ‘print’ techniques.

Q - As an artist, what would be your dream?

‘My dream’ is forever evolving; however, I would love to get involved in a large community art project of some kind in the future.

Q - Could you share one thing that you have learnt in your own art practice that would be useful to other artists?

Accept yourself! There will always be finer and worse artists than you, but there are none that can be you, so keep making time for creativity, have fun, and don’t worry if you do not create a masterpiece on each occasion!

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