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Arts in Milwaukee

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Michelle Cloud

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artist bio

I am an oil painter with a studio in Riverwest.

artist statement

Art fell by the wayside for me for almost twenty years: I went to law school, raised children, and wrote some bad fiction. When five years of nearly constant knitting was ended by arthritis, I returned to painting, and found myself engrossed as never before in the process of creation.

As I have approached midlife, I have become fascinated with visual surprises: the unconventional beauty of an aging flower, the ability to recognize a familiar person from a single eye, an ordinary bare tree made stately and bittersweet when backlit by sunrise.

The specific image, however, doesn’t matter as much as the process: the sensual joy of spreading oil paints on canvas, the earthy scent of linseed oil, and pleasure of discovering color and form. Most of all, I love the boundless search for unanticipated beauty among ugliness, the recognizable in the unfamiliar, and the majesty of the ordinary.

I hope viewers will connect, as I do, with the surprising sculptural beauty of a flower past its prime; the astonishingly unique identity that radiates from the simple combination of iris, pupil, and sclera embraced by skin; the simple drama of a leafless tree.