A Dreamlike World: The Sustainable Art of Michelle Purvis

Get to know artist Michelle L. Purvis, from Portland, Oregon, as she prepares to release a collection of all new pieces for the latest virtual art show experience from Artburst Studios!

To Be Featured In:  An Unexpected Twist (May, 2024)
Learn More & View Work Examples:  Artburst Studios Artist Profile

Michelle Purvis creates art that bridges the gap between reality and imagination, focusing on sustainability and our connection with nature. Her latest work transports viewers to a dreamlike world where oversized human forms intertwine with delicate trees, suggesting a vital link between humanity and the natural environment. As an artist who uses various materials like acrylic, charcoal, thread, paper, and fabric, Michelle’s approach is both innovative and symbolic, encouraging us to think about our impact on the Earth.

Since 2005, Michelle’s work has revolved around sustainability. Her earlier pieces incorporated reclaimed and found objects to demonstrate the need for eco-friendly practices. Recently, her focus has shifted to using context in her compositions to explore themes of ecological preservation and sustainable living. She challenges us to be more thoughtful about consumerism and its effects on the planet.

“I use materials beyond acrylic paint such as charcoal, thread, paper, and fabric, creating symbolic context between the material and the subject.”

Michelle’s latest body of work involves a mix of painting and drawing techniques. She starts by creating smooth backgrounds with acrylic and gesso, then sketches figurative landscapes using soft charcoal or graphite. After the initial sketch, she layers diluted acrylic over the drawings, leaving behind faint lines that form the foundation of her composition. She then adds graphite, charcoal, or thread to highlight key areas. The combination of these materials brings depth and texture to her work, often blurring the boundaries between reality and abstraction.

Through her art, Michelle encourages us to reconsider our relationship with the natural world. Her use of thread symbolizes our ability to mend what is broken, while her muted color palette reflects the somber energy of today’s social landscape. She incorporates surrealist elements to suggest a world where the familiar becomes strange, prompting viewers to think critically about the environment and their role in preserving it.

Michelle’s goal is to inspire others to look for the mystery and balance in everyday life. By creating art that highlights the fragility and beauty of nature, she hopes to spark conversations about sustainability and the importance of protecting our planet. Her dreamlike landscapes remind us that we do not own the land—it is a gift to be cherished and sustained.

Michelle’s latest collection of original pieces will be unveiled at our next virtual art show “An Unexpected Twist“, which opens on Wednesday, May 29th at 10am MT. The show will close on Friday, May 31st at 6pm MT. Be sure to create your free Collector Account early so you are prepared for the show open!

You can see more of Michelle’s work at her official website: www.michellelpurvis.squarespace.com

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