An Interview with Michele Usibelli

1. What motivates you to paint?

As an artist I feel I have to “create”…not a day goes by that I don’t feel the need to put brush to canvas, if only for an hour! I am pretty driven and one of my goals is to continue to grow and develop as an artist, I realize the only way to do this is to spend time in the studio everyday.

2. How do you balance family life and art?

Balancing family life with three kids and my art career has been extremely difficult but I am very goal oriented and it has helped tremendously to be organized. I approach painting like I would approach any other job, setting work hours and doing something “art related” everyday. I believe that being an artist and having a studio at home has inspired my kids to pursue their creative talents as well and it has been good for them to see mom pursuing her passion for art. I only began painting after my second child was born so I quickly became comfortable painting amidst chaos!

3. Who influences your work?

There are so many artists creating wonderful work today and so many historic artists that left a legacy for us to follow and helped set the bar for artistic excellence. Historic artists like Edgar Payne, Eustace Ziegler and Nicolai Fechin have had a huge impact on my development. Contemporary artists, Calvin Liang, Mian Situ, John Asaro and Jove Wang have continued to have a a huge influence on my work.

4. What’s one painting tool you can’t live without?

My “bright” brushes.

5. What do you want to instill in your students?

I want my student to be “fearless” and to attack their canvas with confidence. Only then will their paintings resonate with energy and life.

6. What would you like the viewers of your video to know?

That art and the process of “ reating” should be a constantly evolving experience and that the artist should never stop learning and pushing themselves to grow. Experimentation is key and failure should be embraced as it’s part of the learning process.

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