“There is absolutely nothing like being outdoors, painting the beauty of Nature! My goal is to push through every last area of fear, and paint with utter abandon – BEAUTY. If I could be a “Vivaldi of paint”, I would feel that I have reached my ultimate goal!”
Michelle Chrisman spent years in New York City working in advertising and illustration, and moonlighting at the New York Art Students League. At the same time she studied drawing and painting, hoping for the day when she would be a full time painter. “I have always been electrified by the look and smell of oil paint.”
In the early 90s, Michelle took a week-long workshop with Ray Vinella in Taos, that changed the course of her life. I took seriously Ray’s parting words to me to ˜keep painting, and I have done just that.
Some years ago she was able to move to Taos to paint the beauty of the place. I have not found anywhere in the world like Taos. I could literally set up my easel anywhere and paint. While not a traditional plein air painter, Michelle firmly believes in applying the principals of the visual world when she paints, although she is most excited by the abstract in the natural world.
I hope to bring a new vitality to the traditional approach to plein air painting, a modern response, while honoring the rules so to speak. I am more interested in how a place makes me feel than reproducing exactly how it looks.
Michelle’s father was a sculptor in Santa Fe who relayed to her his passion about the texture and feel of art. Maybe that is why paint quality is also important to me. I cannot imagine doing a painting where the paint itself is not given a chance to express itself. Paint is an amazingly exciting organic sensuous substance that for me is almost more important than the image it is striving to represent.
Michelle is a Signature Member of Plein Air Painters of New Mexico and has attended the Plein Air Invitational in Zion National Park, Utah. She teaches plein air painting annually for Harwood Art Center in Albuquerque and Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, and summer workshops in Taos.
Representation: The Signature Gallery Santa Fe