michele wortman paintingsI am greatly influenced by nature and what it invokes. I am interested in subtlety and how an image can occupy space with nuance of form and shape. I see the work I do to have an atmospheric energy to it that is meant to reflect its context and environment.  My studio work is more about how the art relates to the space it is in. I consider the surroundings the piece will be placed in, such as wall color and room ambience, when thinking about the composition and tone choice. Many of these pieces are larger works with an average size of 3x5 feet, yet maintain an understated zen-like quality.

I also enjoy the full spectrum between subtle tones, pastels and vivid colors. These are the distinctions in my color palettes that I am currently focussed on.

Often I'll paint from reference, using photos that I've taken which speak to me and warrant further exploration as a painting. I am drawn to the abstract qualities of how the shapes, forms and shadows create space. It is a dance of light and flow.

With the photo paintings, I began painting directly onto canvas prints of my photos in 2002 as a way to combine my interests and explore some of my favorite subjects further with a more individualistic interpretation than the photograph by itself allows for. I like the signature quality of brushwork, and mixing the photography and painting mediums into a hybrid of its own. The photographs that I paint on are like directional charts to dive further into. I find this very freeing and quite enjoy the process. Some are completely painted into with new shapes and spaces emerging, while others maintain a more photographic quality, using accents of paint to re-emphasize and energize the works.

Regardless of the medium, the intent is the same: To communicate and create an elevated space infused with beauty, ambience and natural elements in my work and in my life.


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