Michele Usibelli is an award-winning Northwest artist who has established her own unique artistic style. As a versatile emerging 21st Century American Impressionist, Michele’s work is recognized for its expressive colors and passionate brushworks. Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio has the privilege of hosting Michele for a three-day “Painting the Portrait” workshop in November. Read what Michele has to share about her passion for art.
When did your interest in art begin and how long have you been an artist?
My interest in art began as a child. I still have a homework assignment from second grade that tells the story of how I wanted to be an artist when I grew up!
What do you seek to communicate through your art or your art instruction?
A collector once said that I have "the ability to make the mundane beautiful," that sums up my desire of each painting I create, to make the viewer stop, smile and reflect on the simple, everyday life occurrences.
What drives you as an artist?
Whether its painting, gardening, sewing or building, I am happiest when creating tangible objects or spaces that I can touch, feel, experience and enjoy!
What is a recent piece of art you created and what inspired you to paint it?
"Penumbra," I love the atmospheric interest in this piece. I set up a challenge for myself, to create a piece without the usual use of "color" that I gravitate toward with my work. This was a lesson in "restraint" and I am happy with the way the viewer is led through the piece and how the limited use of color in the focal areas really draws the viewer in.
Do you have a favorite brand of paints, brushes, or canvas that you use?
Not really, I like to experiment a lot. In oils I always find Old Holland and Gamblin consistently good. I have just started playing with Daniel Smith jars of heavy acrylics and heavy gel mediums which have been fun to play with!
What advice do you have for artists seeking to improve their work?
Draw, draw, draw...I tell students that they will never achieve their painting goals if their drawings aren't spot on.
What do you think is unique about Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio’s workshops?
The location and setting enjoyed by WIFAS is unique. This picturesque studio inspires creativity and focus.