Michele LaMontagne Hausman has been busy recently, and we're excited to write about her activities. Her work has been juried into a number of shows, on exhibition in a variety of venues, and received important attention. Here are some highlights.
Farmer's Market Series
Michele has won a number of awards for her oil paintings. Most recently, her 18x24 oil painting titled Market Musicians was accepted for display at the California State Exposition, and then won the Merit Award for Oils during the fine arts judging.
This painting was one in a series of paintings inspired by images of a local farmers' market captured first by Michele's camera and translated onto canvas in her Soquel studio. The market pictured is one hosted on the campus of Cabrillo College.
Soquel Creek Series
A few hundred yards down from Michele's studio flows Soquel Creek. In the next 2 miles downstream, the creek passes 3 plant nurseries, a winery, and the towns of Soquel and Capitola, finally emptying into the Pacific Ocean.The tall trees and shady glens by the creek have long been an inspiration for Michele's plein air painting.
In her own words: "Living daily beside the river makes me aware that humans are only a small part of a larger organic whole that is the planet. I believe we can be conscious of our
daily effects on the earth and its creatures. Through my painting, I work to share this awareness with others."
Michele has created over 20 paintings of the creek in the last several years, including a 4 season set of 24x30 paintings of the same stretch of the creek. A group of paintings from the creek series were recently exhibited in the Pacific Grove Art Center. Ask about the path down to the creek if you get the chance to visit Michele's studio.
Traveling Yosemite Show
a plein air painting by Michele
created in the upper Yosemite.
Last summer, Michele spent time in and around Yosemite National Park creating a series of oil paintings. In the fall, Michele entered the annual competition sponsored by the Yosemite Association. Her entry, a 12x16 plein air painting titled Tioga Tarn, was accepted into the show, which opened at the Yosemite Museum in the Park. Michele's work, along with those of some twenty other artists, now comprise a traveling show being displayed in various locations in and out of California.
Seventh Generation Mural Project
This project is an artistic effort to expand consciousness about the beauty and fragility of our oceans. Many artists are collaborating, each creating a 2'x4' painting representative of a single mile of the western coast of the USA.
Michele Hausman's painting, 'Seals at Point Lobos' will be on exhibit at the Mendocino Art Center during September, 2003 and moving to various locations over the next year. Sales of the paintings benefit charities supporting ocean research and preservation.
Color and Making Paintings by Michele Hausman
"People who see an exhibition of my work often comment about my use of color. I use the same ten colors for mixing all the colors in my paintings, and I am still finding new combinations. Viridian green, cobalt blue, and yellow ochre make a wonderful grey-green. I keep all the primary colors on my palette, and the paint stays fresh because I store it in the freezer, so its always ready to go.
"I mix greys by using cobalt blue and cadmium orange. More orange for a warm grey and more blue for a cool grey. Grey in a painting lets the viewer see atmosphere and creates a sense of distance, turning a two-dimensional surface into a three-dimensional illusion.
"The human eye is an amazing tool, for which a camera is a weak substitute. Learning to match color and its value to what I see in a landscape or still life is an ongoing challenge that keeps me painting."
New Studio by Richard Hausman
Five years ago, my wife Michele and I began planning for a small new building on our property in Soquel, California. Our goal was to build space that could serve two purposes an art studio allowing Michele to move her painting work out of the spare room in our main house, and a "granny unit for either of our Mothers who may need it in the coming years. (Both my Mother and Micheles are now over 80, and both are living alone in old family homes in the Eastern US.)
Design and working with county planning took 4 years, and construction was accomplished in just under a year. Michele began painting in the new space in April of 2003.
The project gave me a chance to learn many things about both construction and the space needs of an artist. We engaged a local architect and an excellent lead carpenter. I got to drive a bulldozer, dig trenches, install cabinets, lay a floor, and work with a lot of good trades people. Equally interesting was learning about an artists preference for north window lighting, high ceilings compatible with big open air scenes, and large walls so the studio room may serve as display space as well as work and class space.
Michele's new studio in Soquel, CA
|As of this writing, Michele is settling into her new workspace. While regularly painting by herself, shes frequently finding opportunities to share the space with other artists. An artists path is not necessarily a lone journey; it can involve substantial collaboration with other artists. Please visit Michele at her next fall Studio show, in October.
Michele occasionally offers workshops or classes in plein air oil painting. The first workshop was Friday through Sunday, October 24, 25 & 26, 2003. The group went out painting on location a part of each day. Class sizes are limited to allow for ample easel instruction.
Classes are designed for beginning and intermediate painters. Topics covered include composition, paint application, color and value mixing, color temperature, as well as tools and tips for working outdoors. Some experience with drawing and design are helpful but not required. A portable field easel and transportation are required.
If you are interested, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the studio (831.475.5386) for a registration form and materials list.