Monday, June 14, 2010

Michelle Thrane: Artist Interview
— Flow and Control Show

Hot Glyphs
20 x 26"
encaustic on paper


Lynette (LH): Can you share with my readers a little about yourself?
Michelle: I am an artist, I live in Arlington Heights, a suburb of Chicago. My art studio is in my home. I have BFA from Ohio State University. I volunteer at the Art Institute of Chicago.  I love to travel, and I’m planning a trip to Africa. I’m already thinking about two series of encaustic paintings based on images and impressions of Africa.

I paint primarily with encaustics. Over the years I have painted with acrylics, worked with mixed media, digital techniques, and photography. But for the last five years I have focused on encaustics. I believe encaustic techniques give new dimensions to my work and give more depth to the ideas that I had played with in previous work. My recent work has, I think, taken on more cohesiveness since I started painting with encaustics.

LH: Please describe bit about your work in general—what is it about, your process etc.
Michelle: My work is generally abstract. I seldom begin with a preconceived idea of what the final painting will look like. Instead, the painting evolves and emerges as I work. I particularly like working on paper, but I do sometimes work on board or canvas.

My recent paintings use glyph-like markings. The glyph drawings are done with water-based paint.   When that dries, I start painting with encaustics.

I like creating a series of paintings and then taking a break from that series and experimenting with new directions. My last series included about twenty paintings on paper, but now I’m doing a few paintings on boards as well as trying to finish work I had put aside. After the conference, I will probably go back to working on paper.

Cool Glyphs
20 x 26"
encaustic on paper

LH: How many of the Encaustic Conferences at Montserrat have you attended?
Michelle: This is my first conference at Montserrat. I’m very excited about attending, and I am looking forward to the conference. Last year, I joined FusedChicago, and at the first FusedChicago meeting that I attended, the talk was about the Montserrat conference and how much everyone had learned, about all the great art, and the camaraderie with fellow artists.   I decided then that I would try to attend this year.

Dark Riffs
12 x 12" 
encaustic on clayboard

LH: Did you create this work specifically for this juried show?
Michelle: I have two encaustic paintings, Cool Glyphs and Hot Glyphs, in the Flow and Control show.   They were not painted for a specific show, but as part of a series of works on paper. I used to paint for specific shows, sometimes as a way to give myself a deadline. I have found, however, that when I paint on an almost daily basis, my work is better. Also, I prefer to develop my ideas and see where they take me rather than “hopping around,” trying to meet the requirements of a show.





LH: What is your workspace like? If you have photos of your space that would be of interest.
Michelle: My studio is in my house. I paint in one room and store paintings in another. My computer and printer is in a third room. I have also worked in a studio outside my home. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Right now, I like the idea that if I shut down for the day and then have an idea later in the evening, I can go upstairs and work for an hour or two, or even throw a load of laundry in the washer while I wait for the wax to melt!

LH: Do you have other jobs other than making art?
Michelle: In recent years, I have worked as a free-lance market researcher, doing both in-depth interviews and focus group moderating.

Michelle: I just recently published my first website.   I am very excited that I was able to create the site myself after a short tutorial from my daughter-in-law.   I hope to have more work on the site soon:  www.michelethranesart.com

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