The Arts of Roseville, Granite Bay and Rocklin: Michelle Andres Beyond the Brush
Mixed media artist Michelle Andres uses her own writing, along with ink, paint, graphite, and a variety of other mediums to create contemporary, bold, and empowering pieces. She’s also published a compilation of uplifting essays and collected works in a book titled ART—and Other Elements for a Well-Lived Life. In addition to authoring and updating her blog, Andres continues to display works at ARTHOUSE Gallery and Studios in Sacramento. “…The artist community feeds me, but the biggest feast comes through observation,” shares Andres. “We aren’t alone in our life experiences, and I love to tap into that humanity and lay it on a canvas.” The artist is currently showing her work at Gallery 216 on First in Benicia (through April 21), as well as co-exhibiting in May alongside artist Joe Bellacera as ARTHOUSE’s featured artists.
HLB: How did you develop as an artist?
MA: Growing up, I was an introspective, creative child who loved to write. Although I pursued a traditional career path to please my family, I continued to explore art and writing after hours. Corporate life was stifling, and one night I had an epiphany. I needed to live my life for me and follow my passion, so I became a corporate refugee, then a full-time artist, and I’ve never looked back.
HLB: What themes do you explore in your work?
MA: My blog “The Art of the Well-Lived Life” explores our human fabric and teases apart the thread of our common, often imperfect beliefs and behaviors. I view our flaws as an opportunity to accept one another and have honest conversations. I kept writing and painting separately until recently and now am enjoying incorporating words or poetry into my abstract mixed media artwork. [My paintings also include] mark making and symbolism and are often finished with resin.
HLB: Have there been challenges to becoming a full-time artist?
MA: Considering myself a professional artist came gradually. I started by volunteering and learned the business of curating, making, and selling art. People were generous and wonderful. As far as challenges, I think many artists create their own with doubt and insecurity, but it’s inevitable when you work so close to the bone. I believe it’s critical to have a good support system—my husband is the best!
HLB: Why is art so vital in people’s lives?
MA: I believe what we perceive as our daily reality is pretty far from where our souls reside. Art reconnects us to that tender place, our innate truth, our hopeful nature and belief that there really is beauty and wonder in the world.
HLB: Do you have any future goals?
MA: Each day I strive to produce better work. I believe the stories I tell bring value to people, so of course, I’d like to share them with a greater audience. The wonderful thing about art is there’s always room to grow. michelleandresart.com
By Heather L. Becker