Michelle Mendoza
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Statement
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Statement

Michelle Mendoza

Artist Statement

I paint in oils on canvas, or occasionally on wood. Painting is,for me, like a meditation on life, essence, spirit, the miracle of life, the beauty that surrounds us, even in the mundane. Light on a water faucet, a stick of butter, a rock, a pair of scissors, on a face can be transcendant. Painting can speak volumes about feelings, history & spirit. I love thick paint, running, dripping paint, translucent colors, impasto paint. I love the spirit that can emanate from a painting. Perhaps the painting elevates an object, or simply reveals the life force and miracle inside the object.

I have worked in ALS research for many years. Research requires careful measuring, and my specialty in ALS is quantitative assessment of strength. Spending so many years in a field where rigid attention to detail, and strictly following protocol is paramount, I don’t seek that same kind of structure in my art. What I value in my oil painting is freedom of expression, looseness, interpretation versus reproduction, color, and the textural qualities of the paint itself. I paint whatever strikes me, it could be an orange, a coffee cup, a lotus plant, a person, or an olive tree in Provence.

Although I don’t paint pure abstractions, I use elements of abstraction in the construction of my spaces. Joan Wulf, at SFAI, helped to free me from my initial approach to painting, which was very detailed, slow, and perhaps a bit methodical. A few years later I was painting fast, free, and loosely. Sometimes a complex painting would be born in a matter of hours in a flurry of uninhibited painting. As the years have progressed, I think I can access some of what I brought to my painting initially, which was patience & the willingness to see a work through and not get “out” too soon. I prefer a balance of the two approaches, but I still lean toward the immediacy of painting a la prima, wet on wet, and letting happy “accidents” of the paint happen.


 
 
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