Artist Michele Clamp creates watercolor paintings mainly of New England scenes and places she has a personal connection to. "Using traditional brushes and pigments, I enjoy how the simplicity of tools allows me to grapple with the challenges of watercolor," says Michele. "The deceptive simplicity of this medium has a huge attraction for me." As a scientist, Michele worked in many interesting areas including the Human Genome Project. And in 2017, she decided to paint full-time as well as teach art lessons and conduct workshops. Michele states that an idea can take months or years to filter through her brain before sitting down to paint on her easel. In her studio, she enjoys working in peace and quiet with her blinds open to the sun and the trees outside. "As I mostly use watercolor, cleanliness is not so much of a problem," says Michele. "And my husband keeps me on my toes by periodically asking 'Why is there paint on the ceiling?'"
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About The Artist
The deceptive simplicity of watercolor has a huge attraction for Michele. There are no cumbersome canvases, no oils or solvents or drying times or varnishing to worry about. Watercolor is painting stripped down to the basics. Just a person putting color on a surface and trusting the result will resonate with someone. As well as the representation of a scene at a moment in time she aims to preserve visibly all stages of the painting process. Watercolor allows her to do this - she lets the underlying drawing be visible and, as watercolor is very difficult to erase, all brushstrokes are on show - good and bad. This means in practice watercolor is a hard taskmaster. The effort to keep all the balls in the air in a watercolor painting is a constant battle. However, a successful result with all the energy, freshness and luminous color of watercolor is worth all the effort.
She leaves a lot of the choice of subject matter to her subconscious. In practice this boils down to painting exactly what she wants to paint. On the surface this might seem easy or even a cop out but the aim is to listen to that part of us that often gets drowned out by egotistical or fashionable objections leaving (hopefully) something more essential.