+1 ::: Why are
you an artist Michel?
I believe everyone is born with a talent..
or a gift.. I think creating art is mine.
::: Could you tell us some more about
My paintings are mostly abstracts.. they
are instantaneous and impulsive and always
painted very rapidly. Many collectors/viewers
have said my paintings to them are dark
yet uplifting simultaneously.. and I think
that is the best description of my works.
+3 ::: How do
you start a painting, particularly your
abstract works? And how do you know when
the painting is finished?
Starting a painting is very automatic
for me.. And if I am not feeling I leave
the studio or work on whatever I feel
like I should be doing. The only consistent
in my studio is the music. Music is always
playing before I begin any of my paintings
or other works.
I just know when a work is done.. I think
many artists will know this feeling. You
just know when a work is complete.
+4 ::: What artists
have influenced you, and how?
Two artists that have influenced me are
Kinkade and Matt
Lamb. I can hear the critics moaning
already at that response. Well at least
the Kinkade part. I am very impressed
with how Kinkade marketed himself.. how
he created an empire. That drives me.
Matt Lamb influenced me in another way.
Very funny story about Matt Lamb and how
I found out about him. I was looking for
self taught artists and found his work
online. I am not one to care about an
artists credentials. I don't care if they
exhibit, or where they exhibit. I'm not
impressed with the schooling of an artist,
etc. I see art and I either like it or
don't. Well I saw his art and wrote to
him.. not having ANY CLUE about this man's
celebrity in the art world. So I ask him
if he would like to be in an art auction
my husband and I are putting together.
Well I get the sweetest e-mail back from
them.. (Not Matt, but someone who takes
care of his stuff and saying that he would
really like to be able to but is very
busy, etc). That was a couple of years
ago. It wasn't until a few months ago
that I saw a book on ebay.. "Matt
Lamb The Art of Success".. looked
at it and sure enough it was the Matt
Lamb I so boldly emailed! LOL! (I purchased
the book art of success for $5.00 -- got
to love ebay!) So I get the book in the
mail and start reading about this man's
life and my first reaction was of course
feeling like a complete idiot to think
I ever emailed him in the first place
to ask him to participate in our auction!
My next reaction was feeling a connection
to 'I give a shit... kiss my ass' attitude
that he has. I have that attitude myself..
along with a bit of his Irish temperament.
So I was very inspired by him and his
story. It is just nice to see someone
who refuses to kiss ass get ahead in the
art world. It makes me know anything is
possible. So that's it.. those are the
two artists that inspire me most.
+5 ::: What other
interests do you have (besides painting)?
I love anything about being outdoors..
hiking, camping, biking, just spending
time outdoors with my dogs. I have an
8 month old german shepherd that loves
frisbee.. And we've just started building
an agility/obstacle course for him. So
I'm sure when that is done that is where
a lot of my free time will be spent. I
have several artistic interests besides
painting. I love the collage and assemblage
works that I do. Those are probably my
favorite works. But I've been doing a
lot more photography and digital art lately
which I love too. The digital art is just
endless possibilities and the combining
technology and art has been something
I've found myself really drawn to lately.
+6 ::: What inspires
you to paint and how do you keep motivated
when things get tough in the studio?
If anything gets tough in the studio I
usually go out to play with the dogs.
I used to have some 'tough days in the
studio' but that ended when I realized
I have control over it.. if I don't feel
it I simply go do something I want to
be doing. For me I've found it to be that
simple. If I'm not enjoying it.. I don't
+7 ::: How have
you handled the business side of being
The business side can be a bitch. Very
thankfully I have a fabulous husband who
helps me run this business. Without him
I couldn't accomplish half of what I do.
He takes the phone calls, does the paperwork,
answers some emails, etc. There is still
the stuff I have to do... newsletters,
a great deal of emails, working the web
sites, and listing my auctions (I sell
my art on ebay). How I handle it is remember
it is a business. I set my goals, I write
down what it will take for me to meet
them, then I make it happen.. And I don't
quit at the end of the day until the work
I need to do gets completed. It is long
hours and hard work, but I put in what
I need to get out of it what I want.
+8 ::: Where
do you see yourself in 10 years?
I'll still be creating art.. I think..
I don't know for sure as I am always all
over the place. But it is what relaxes
and centers me. I do know that in ten
years I will have built our fine art giclee
division of my company to one in which
it will sustain my income and allow me
to do the things I want to with retirement
(mostly traveling, etc). I would like
to own art galleries in Chicago and New
York... with studios there as well. Besides
being an artist I am also an art collector.
I am drawn to the works of self-taught
artists. I would like to open galleries
in Chicago and New York to promote the
works of other self taught artists.
+9 ::: Could
you talk about your latest series of paintings
and what you are trying to achieve with
I don't really have a 'latest' series
of paintings.. And I never know what I
am trying to achieve with anything I create.
+10 ::: What
advice would you give to an artist just
To any artist just starting out I would
first say... ENJOY what you are doing.
If you enjoy what you are doing it shows
through your in work in my personal opinion.
Next I would tell them set your goals..
then create a plan to help you reach your
goals. Also.. know your limits. Some people
can put in the 110% to promote themselves,
others will have no desire to do anything
than create their art. If you can't promote
yourself then you need to find professionals
that can do the work for you. For those
artists who feel they are stuck as a slave
to the gallery system I am living proof
you don't have to remain a starving artist
because the art critics or galleries don't
find your work 'appropriate'. I'm not
saying self promotion is easy. It is probably
one of the most difficult things I've
done.. but it is possible.