● By Wendy Sipple
Photo by Dante Fontana
Self-taught artist Michelle Brunmier can tell you the exact minute when she discovered her love of painting.
Her “ah-ha” moment hit her nearly seven years ago while on a family camping trip. Before heading out to an Oregon lakeside, she decided to take some art supplies with her to stave off boredom. In her first attempt with brush to canvas, she chose to depict a fish swimming in a lake. Although she admits the background was not great, the trout inspired her to continue painting.
“The more I painted the more I loved it,” Brunmier admits. And she paints a lot. Her studio and home are filled with beautiful abstracts and contemporary flowers. “I am so grateful I have found my passion,” she says and she enjoys sharing it with others too. Brunmier shows her work nearly every weekend at local art fairs, and you can find it hanging in various locations throughout the valley, such as Dono dal Cielo Winery in Newcastle and Lush Salon in downtown Sacramento.
She creates each abstract painting in multiple colors with watered down acrylic. “I have to babysit each piece,” Brunmier explains. “It is like controlling a chaos of water and paint.” Her abstracts can take up to four weeks to complete. “I don’t start with a vision for abstract pieces,” she says, it is impossible to see the finished product until it’s finished.” Viewing her pieces, filled with vibrant color and freeform shapes can generate all kinds of feelings. “It is wonderful to have something [that] you created evoke emotion in people,” she says.
Brunmier has a refreshing positive spirit and although she still has a “day job” to pay the bills, she is certain her talent will one day be her sole source of income. “I am convinced,” she says.
Brunmier’s business background has proved invaluable in helping her market and promote her talent. In addition to her original works, she also produces greeting cards and 4 x 4-inch tiles with abstract and flower images. Her largest work, “Determination,” is 4 x 5-feet and is displayed at Vintner’s Custom Winery in Rancho Cordova.
Sacramento artist, teacher and Patris S12 Gallery Curator Gayle Rappaport teaches the popular “Business of Art” which Brunmier has attended. She has known Brunmier for more than a year and is happy to also feature her work in the gallery. “Michelle reminds me of me,” Rappaport says, “she is working hard and her dream is unfolding for her. Her work shows spontaneity and originality,” says Rappaport.
Brunmier also loves to give back and encourages others to find their passions in life too. “When I discovered painting,” she explains, “something woke up inside of me.” She has learned that unless you take action, nothing will happen; like Winston Churchill once said, “You create your own universe as you go along.” Wise words and something Brunmier works on everyday – she is positively making her world a wonderful place for herself and everyone around her.
For more information on Brunmier’s work, visit michellebrunmier.com.