Michelle L. Purvis,
acrylic, canvas, graphite and paper works.
I confess, I’m a tree hugger who shops at goodwill and I‘m not embarrassed about it anymore! I jump at the occasion to address sustainable living to anyone who comes across my path and is interested in listening to me. My comprehensive art practice incorporates connections between the earth and our behaviors. Our shared environment plays a role in how we interact with each other. We instinctively adapt to innovation but disregard the impacts that it has on our environment until it's too late. Over the last four years I have been developing works specifically related to forest conservation and reforestation. I challenge my audience to be more thoughtful about consumerism, ecological preservation, and sustainable living.
Since 2005 my work has been ever changing but has always been concerned with concepts of sustainability. Reclaiming found objects as substrates was an important component of my work in the beginning as well as recycling paint from local paint distributors. In the last seven years I have been more concerned with the context of sustainability in my compositions rather than the materials themselves. Throughout my career I have been engaged in cross-disciplinary practices, combining materials that wouldn’t traditionally go together. I have explored combining canvas, recycled paper, thread, fabric, charcoal, graphite, watercolor and acrylic paint onto various two dimensional platforms.
My latest body of work begins with charcoal or graphite to sketch out figurative landscapes. The first layer of paint I use mixes the carbon with the water media. This translucent layer leaves behind faint lines that I later use to develop imaginary landscapes integrating our bodies with the natural world. The support of my palette is muted expressing a sense of tranquility. My palette includes two hues of each primary color and white mixed together at different intensities. I find that mixing paint by picking up dabs of each color and blending them together onto the substrate creates dynamic layers. After finding my painted composition I bring the carbon media back into the work to define important areas. I am also able to create an illusion of movement while I draw outside the lines of the painted forms.