A look into the inspiration behind the work.

Bubbly - Acrylic on Canvas 24x24

Bubbly - Acrylic on Canvas 24"x24"

It is funny how some things seem to just come together without you even thinking about them. My anticipation of seeing my husband in a few weeks ran right out of my brush today. It struck me as I was doing my final once over deciding on a name (one of the most difficult parts of painting.) that this lady's crooked smile mimicked by her curling toes and sitting in an alluring pink and purple background reminded me of a song that sustained me during the beginning of this deployment. It's a cute little love song. See if you don't agree that what the brush was trying to say to me.

Bubbly by
Colbie Caillat

I've been awake for a while now
You've got me feelin' like a child now
'Cause every time I see your bubbly face
I get the tinglees in a silly place

It starts in my toes
And I crinkle my nose
Wherever it goes I always know
That you make me smile
Please stay for a while now
Just take your time
Wherever you go

The rain is fallin' on my window pane
But we are hidin' in a safer place
Under the covers stayin' safe and warm
You give me feelings that I adore

They start in my toes
Make me crinkle my nose
Wherever it goes
I always know
That you make me smile
Please stay for a while now
Just take your time
Wherever you go

What am I gonna say
When you make me feel this way?
I just, mmm

It starts in my toes
Makes me crinkle my nose
Wherever it goes
I always know
That you make me smile
Please stay for a while now
Just take your time
Wherever you go

I’ve been asleep for a while now
You tucked me in just like a child now
'Cause every time you hold me in your arms
I'm comfortable enough to feel your warmth

It starts in my soul
And I lose all control
When you kiss my nose
The feelin' shows
'Cause you make me smile
Baby just take your time now
Holdin' me tight

Wherever, wherever, where ever you go
Wherever, wherever, where ever you go

Bubbly by Colbie Caillat

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Singing Morning - Acrylic on Canvas 12x12

"Singing Morning" Acrylic on Canvas 12x12

It has been a very busy week and I am behind on my art blogging. This piece was painted on Wednesday while I gallery sat at tht Topeka Art Guild. It was my first day to attend the gallery and it was very quiet that day. There wasn't the opportunity to sit on my back porch this time and paint from my collection of live flowers so I returned to my photographs.

This flower is a pale purple cone flower which grows wild in the area. They present with a paler purple, almost a white which is strikingly different than the purple cone flowers that are commonly seen. Their petals are long and spindly which give them a delicate and dancing appearance.

My inspiration for this piece was from a photo I had taken a couple of years ago and I have painted from the photo more than once. It was insteresting to step back into those images I have many than I have plans to paint and several that are my favorites. I decided to paint one of my favorites because I was more comfortable with the image and knew that I could be successful even if I was interupted several times while I was working in the gallery. I believe it was the right decision and I am please with the way it turned out.

For me this piece seems to sing with color and to be as fresh and bright as the mornings have been around here. Hence, the name "Singing Morning."

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Simple Art Both Design

Art booth from the front.

In the last couple of weeks I was asked to be the Art Director of the Aaron Douglas Art Fair. It's a wonderful community event here in Topeka. In the last couple of days it has come to my attention that many artists do not have a booth and some are intimidated to make one.

I designed my booth years ago and it has served me well. If you have simple construction skills, such as being able build and stretch a canvas, you can build a booth. I have made a PDF that explains my design which is compact and easy to construct from common materials at the lumber yard. 

My booth design is a simple Plastic Lattice Design the final size of the lattice work is a 3 sided 8’ x 8’ lattice frame. With basic construction skills you should be able to create it in an afternoon. Some advantages of this design are: the lattice work allows for breeze to flow through on hot summer days. When used with the 10’x10’ gazebo (typical space allowed at art fairs) your artwork is inside enough that if you have a light rain it will be somewhat protected.

If you are interested in building this style of booth here is the PDF link.Simple Art Booth Design. This is the exact design I used to build my own art booth so I know it works and is sturdy enough to hold medium to light weight artwork. It has lasted years even though I store it outside exposed to the weather. I accept no liability on construction or design. You build at your own risk.

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A Little Night Music

The Mistress of the Dark featured my artwork "A Song for You" on her blog A Little Night Music. For her Tuesday Tunes: Week number 44. Although that image was sold to the Topeka Performing Arts Center with reproduction rights, glicee prints are available. I also have simular original pieces available on my site and merchandise available at Cafe Press. Thank you, Mistress of the Dark for the shout out on my artwork!
More about the artwork: From Artist's Blog 3/22/06

I thought I'd share on this blog a very personal and emotionally charged series of paintings. The following several posts will involve this series but here is some background on the pieces. These pieces are older than the flower series I am currently working on, but I thought you would enjoy these too.

"Celestial Correspondence” by artist Michelle Leivan, is a series of paintings which are a product of a spiritual search spurred by the war in Iraq. This work documents her reactions to the complex social and emotional environments of the absence of her husband, Captain Lenard (Chuck) Leivan of the 2/130 FA, who recently returned from a 12 month deployment in Baghdad. Michelle’s abstract nudes capture the private conflict and attitudes that women face with an abrupt and undesired separation.

Pride opposed by desire, Michelle refused to be crushed during this separation, a refuge was found in documentation of her private struggle through painting. Within the subtle essence of facial expression and gesture, Michelle invites you to find the empathy and understanding of a soldier’s wife’s inner voyage during this time of great national importance.

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New City Cafe Opening

Patiently Waiting 57"x57" Acrylic on Canvas

I just got confirmation for a new one person show!

Location: New City Cafe (Gage Center, Topeka)
Event Dates: 10/1/2008 - 10/31/2008
Reception: 10/1/2008 • 4:30 - 6:00

New City Cafe
4005 SW Gage Center Drive
Topeka, KS 66604-1831
Phone: 785.271.8646

Michelle Leivan unveils new paintings in the“Celestial Correspondence” Series which are dominated by abstract female nudes inspired by the complex social and emotional soul searching which developed during the deployment of her husband. This two part series completed during two Iraqi tours documents the artist's inner dialogue and is a celebration to the long anticipated return of her husband later in the month.

Leivan's enduring subject is the female form with a subversive twist on the classic nude. Stripping the figure of the culturally significant cues of beauty, she dares the viewer to find the subtle essence of facial expression and gesture. Michelle's unexpected pallet provides a multicultural, non-ethnic specific tone which captures the universal aspects of femininity.

Also for the adventurous at heart...


First Wednesday October from 4:30 to 6:00 pm

Come taste four different wines for only $10.

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