Caren-Marie Michel Contemporary Maine Landscapes
After earning my BFA from Portland School of Art (now Maine College of Art) in 1978, I raised two daughters and embarked on a sixteen-year banking career. In 2000, I left banking to paint full time.
My main interest is color in the landscape. Living in Maine, one cannot help but be amazed with nature and the effects of light, time, season, place and color. My paintings come from frequent walks and travels, bringing my vision and experience to the viewer. I work in many layers in acrylic or pastel to achieve glowing color in my paintings. I also am interested in the manmade landscape and have set out to document how our urban landscapes continually change. I see the world as a painting, whether it is the old mill downtown, the fire station, golf course, mountain or beach.
When I paint in acrylic on canvas, I continue the painting around the edges of the canvas. One day while my canvases were lined up while I was preparing my work for a show, I noticed that the edges of the paintings created a new landscape image. I then used this idea to create new landscapes, painting the edge of each painting on paper side-by side as I painted the canvas edge. This is how the “Painting Edges” series began. Each “Painting Edges” piece represents four to eighteen individual landscape paintings. Not only does each piece develop a new imagined landscape, but also document my work as I go along.
Eleven years ago, when I joined North Light Gallery, I started painting the Katahdin region of Maine . This began an intense period of learning to paint “plein air” or on location and since then I have traveled all over Maine and New Brunswick, Canada discovering and painting. I paint out as often as I can in all conditions; I love to be out painting!