A little bit about me
I am an East Texas artist and have enjoyed drawing for as long as I can remember. I grew up in Tyler, Texas, a conservative "small town" East Texas community. My early art education consisted of learning the basic standards and improving my natural skills and habits, until I became very good at execution, especially with a representational emphasis.
My first real exposure to contemporary art began with my college education. I received an Associate in Arts Degree (Magna Cum Laude) from Tyler Junior College in 1991, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from The University of Texas at Tyler in 1994. I spent three years as a graduate student (also, teaching assistant or teaching fellow) in the School of Visual Arts at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, working towards a Master of Fine Arts Degree. Drawing and painting were my major fields of study and art history was my minor. Although I did not complete my written dissertation, I produced a successful MFA exhibit in the Spring of 1997, and that work is among the work shown on this website.
In college my love and understanding of the diverse creative uses of media and technique, and various artistic aesthetics for handling subject matter and composition grew exponentially. I was mesmerized and fascinated by the variety and number of approaches to making art - from ancient cave paintings to post-modernism. My own understanding about 'good' art and art making changed and grew dramatically, and this change became evident in my work.
The constant in my work has been my preoccupation with the human figure - especially faces. My work is personal and autobiographical, with images often depicting my emotions and experiences. A particular work might be a singular image of some psychological manifestations, or it might simply be inspired by a photograph, some music, or a phrase that affects me. Currently I most enjoy working with graphite, oil pastels, paint sticks and oil bars on paper. Because creative inspiration can be fleeting, I like the immediacy of working on paper. It is easily accessible, and that complements the spontaneous nature of my work.
I am not a full time artist because I cannot afford to be. I spent a few years working at various temporary jobs, while teaching myself computer skills and creating this website (which was challenging and, surprisingly, fun). Currently, I have a full time job and, unfortunately, don't have time to create artwork.
I am pleased to have this online gallery so I can share a little information about art and also show my artwork. I hope you enjoy your visit.
Thanks, Michelle Flanagan