In this series, we explore the behind-the-scenes insight into the artists at Creative Gateways, and take a peek into their current works in progress, inspiration and creative challenges. Today we explore a new painting by Michael Colpitts and how it inspired Marika’s new Glass piece!
Do You See What I See?
“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction…” – Margaret Heffernan
Art is never completely passive. The viewer will always bring their own perspective to a piece. Michael Colpitts‘ painting “Interplay” actively encourages viewer interaction. The work offers a variety of contrasts to accomplish this, while still remaining whimsical. Hard edges sit next to soft, amorphous patches of color. Organic shapes and textures share space with geometric figures. The interaction of these elements creates energy, which in turn provides excitement for the viewer. Ultimately, Michael hopes, this process will allow viewers to extract their own personal joy from the piece.
Between Two Worlds
“To make our communications more effective, we need to shift our thinking from ‘What information do I need to convey?’ to ‘What questions do I want my audience to ask?'” – Chip Heath
A striking feature of “Interplay” is the physical divide that splits the painting into two worlds. Contrasting patterns on each side draw the eye right to the core of the divide. A sharp, dark figure stands in parallel to a trail of playful, pink blots. One cannot help but follow the split as it continues vertically, its strong center fading out as it approaches the edges. This seemingly simple visual journey raises questions for the viewer: How are these two worlds different? How are they the same? What truly unites or divides them?
Each side contains clues to these questions that have no wrong answers. Physical materials such as Japanese paper blend seamlessly into the composition. Washes and water are used to create depth and motion in the background. Hidden shapes and ghost images keep you traversing the canvas with your eye. You find yourself eager to absorb everything the piece has to offer. What you walk away with is personal.
Techniques like the layering of textiles are familiar and beloved by Michael, who uses them in most of his paintings. Throughout his body of work, you can find a diverse variety of mixed media, from mango leaves to packaging material.
From One Artist to Another
“Interplay” also served as an inspiration for fellow artist Marika Israelson. She had hit a wall on her own glass piece when Michael showed her a particular section of “Interplay:” the collection of colored dots next to section of green with a vibrant orange line. “That orange line did it,” Marika explained. She returned to the AMusinGlass studio and completed a beautiful glass bowl, titling it “Interplay” as an homage. You can clearly see how she incorporated the influence of Michael’s work into her own. It was a wonderful example of the interaction between a work of art and another artist.
Bask in the light
If the vibrance and life within these pieces speak to you, join us at our upcoming events for a chance to see their hidden elements upclose, including Transforming the Light – 1st Friday exhibition and Dancing With Light – Artist Spotlight: Pilisa Rainbow Lady!