Michelle Chapman
ARTIST

I was born and educated in Napier, Hawkes Bay where I studied art at school and was regularly awarded school art prizes and scored an A pass in School Certificate art. My love of art began at an early age and has continued ever since.

After an OE living in London and exploring the art capitals of Europe, I returned to NZ and attended Victoria University in Wellington for a Bachelor of Arts degree where I studied Art History and tutored in Architectural History. I was hugely impressed during this time by the art of Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock and other major colourists of the modern movement.

Priorities of marriage, family and career seriously took over for a decade or so, but I am now able to return to art as a full time artist. I live in Auckland and have studied part-time at Whitcliffe College of Art in techniques of painting, drawing and composition.

My first attempts at painting were abstract depictions of nature and the environment. I found that colour was my starting point in all works and appreciating light became important. Earliest works were more geometric in composition and I was pleased to sell two large works in Hawkes Bay which inspired me to carry on.

In 2009 I had a solo exhibition "Through the Gap" at Papakura Art Gallery and was asked to participate in a curated show there called "Flourish" in 2010. Various paintings have been in group exhibitions in Auckland, Hawkes Bay and Wellington.

My Exhibition in 2012 at Clevedon Art Gallery showed a move to a much freer style with more emphasis on colour and brush texture. Experimentation with washes, dribbles and huge thick splashes of paint to make impressions of form was hugely rewarding. My 2013 Exhibition showed a move to painted text in a more structured background - these works moved me into looking at textual content.

During 2015 I experimented with a rust emulsion – a ferrous solution that is overpainted with acid to create real rust. This medium is less flexible than acrylics so there has been a learning curve to negotiate. Three finished paintings have resulted so far (see New Works) and I hope to continue on into 2016 with this medium. The remainder of works included in the "Well Versed" Show are a mixture of poetry and ethereal themes.