Michelle Leivan » Portfolio of Works
"Alla Prima" is a painting method that is direct, expressive and is done with no preparation - this defines not only the paintings but the interviews themselves. - Enjoy.
The concept of a self-portrait has changed over the years and in today's world it seems everyone is creating at least snap shot photos of themselves. As a micro business owner whose only employees are Me, Myself and I, a lot of personal needs got pushed aside to grow ArtPrintExpress.com. Although entrepreneurship is satisfying I realized I wasn't able to feel complete and fulfilled in my life because I was neglecting my own need to paint.
With this insight I made a commitment to myself to paint for one hour each day. But I ran into a dilemma, the subject I prefer is the human figure and I had no one who was available at my beck and call every single day. So I turned to my own image (and those of my employees) for inspiration as so many artists have done before me.
Also in my business I have spent a lot of time on social media promoting and interacting with customers on the internet. So as a natural combination seemed to be the selfie. I decided to explore the idea of selfies with commentary on social media and encouragement from my friends to interact with thoughtful dialogue.
The Oxford Dictionary recently added "Selfie" as a word to the dictionary which they define as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website" the example they use is:
"Occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself everyday isn’t necessary."
I find this example hilarious because with this series I want to attempt to do a selfie a day.
My system for creating these is similar to the quick photos you will find online. I either use a mirror (like many people do to take selfies) and create the piece or I snap a quick photo and then use it as a reference later to paint from.
This process is almost meditative. It is like a conversation with my subconscious and my ideas for commentary often come to me as I paint them. As a result I am seeing the beginning of a journey of self-discovery that is immersed in social media. Who knows where this will lead but I am hoping that I might lend a few slivers of insight to all the other odd things on social media that might be a bit more interesting than what I had for dinner today. And most of all it is simply all good fun.
The idea of selfies as being a part of our social media culture intrigues me to the extreme. What does it reveal about a person? We seem to leave everything out on the table on the social networks and yet we expect that we somehow still have privacy. There are complex human emotions behind each selfie in how it is picked by the 'artist' and then how it is seen by the world in which it is shared.
Each post of these are getting wonderful comments on Facebook, so in the light of these being visual commentary on social media I have embedded each profile post for you to enjoy. I invite you to watch the progress and join in on the conversations, you can find me on Facebook here.
New development you can join in the social media commentary by creating your own meme text with my new Selfies series and post it on your Facebook profile. There is a face for every mood! Create it with Meme-A-Leivan!
Proven to create an immediate and long-term positive impact on attitude, conduct and retention, flowers have established a unique niche in the human experience. The role of flowers to enrich human experience can be found worldwide cultures throughout history. Whether they are used for religious, romantic or decoration purposes, the allure of blossoms have rooted their way into our daily lives and our psyche.
As an artist, the inspiration from this natural splendor creates a reason for meditative reflection and a search for the expressive peace found within both the process and subject. I choose the flowers I paint by being moved through their sense of unique character with the idea that the flower no longer serves its innate purpose of beauty but becomes personified with rich character and silent story telling. So I ask you, the viewer to welcome the mood, behavior and memory enhancing effects of the floral form and find your own story with these delightfully visualized Kansas wildflower paintings.
Inspired by the native wildflowers of the rolling flint hills of Kansas, Michelle Leivan has expanded her exploration to the floral form. Hiking in the luscious meadows and along the rustic roadsides Michelle delights in recording each floral sighting with anticipation of interpreting each with her expressive and distinctive impressionistic style. Her bold pallet and energetic paintings weave philosophical and intuitive compositions for modern contemplation of nature.
Several of these new pieces have been honored by being selected to hang in the Kansas capital building, including Governor Sebelius' conference room and two were recently selected for the Art in Embassies Program where they will be a part of the exhibition at the U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay in the U.S Embassy Residence in Asuncion.
A large selection of additional artworks are also available as fine art giclée prints are available at ArtPrintExpress.com which is owned by Michelle Leivan. Whether here or on the Art Print Express site, every piece will be produced and approved by Michelle.
Giclée – pronounced “zhee-clay” is a derivative of the French word “gicler” meaning “to spurt”. It is a coined term for the process of making high quality fine art prints from a digital source using ink-jet printing. Artists generally use giclée inkjet printing to make reproductions of their original two-dimensional artwork, photographs or computer-generated art.
The process to create a “giclée print” represents a relatively new advancement in printmaking technology and produces better color control and accuracy than any other current means of image reproduction. Original artwork is translated digitally with high resolution scans, digital cameras or computerized art programs and printed using professional color ink-jet printers. High quality archival inks are used on a variety of surfaces including canvas, fine art papers and photo papers. The quality of the giclée print rivals traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing processes and is commonly found in museums and galleries.
For artists this process is most advantageous because they can reproduce their artwork on-demand with minimal effort and manageable cost. The high cost of mass production for an edition is eliminated and each image can be printed on demand. The digital files are archived until they are needed and will not inherently deteriorate as does the older film process. Also, with the giclée process a print can be made to accommodate a variety sizes and onto a variety of media, which gives the artist another option for customization with each client. So please contact me for custom options.
A creative, wacky drawing card game that offers on the spot fun for four to ten players. It takes minutes to learn to play and a lifetime to perfect. Each spontaneous stroke challenges you, sparks the imagination and offers limitless possibilities and healthy self expression. Your fellow Artist provides that first stroke and the Juror a word of thought provoking direction. Your task is to quickly finish the picture, in any way you want. Keep in mind, you must please the ever subjective Juror to become the Art Genius and win!
This game is the result of the creative work of Michelle Leivan. She has conceived, designed, illustrated, published and hand assembled the game and packaging. She also reserves the creative copyright for this
Please contact Michelle for any questions or comments.
“Celestial Correspondence” series reflects a subversive twist on the classic nude of the female form. Stripping the figure of culturally significant cues of beauty, I dare the viewer to find the subtle essence of facial expression and gesture. My unexpected pallet provides a multicultural, non-ethnic specific tone which captures the universal aspects of femininity. The series, dominated by abstract female nudes were inspired by the complex social and passionate soul searching that developed during the deployment of my husband. However, the images reach beyond the emotional abyss realized from the uncertainty, loneliness and sense of abandonment many women like me experienced during the last 10 years. The work gives visual voice to the sacred feminine and the glory of dominating the fears with the strength that is there to be discovered within every woman facing the struggles in the modern world.
Created alla prima these explorations of the human form, color and composition are created during a single two hour sitting with a live model who is directed to simply change pose. Each session consists of 2 - five minute poses, 2 - ten minute poses, 2- 15 minute poses and 3 - 20 minute poses, there is no specific direction given to the model except for the time constraints. They are a created intuitively and the variety of poses allows me to pull emotionally from the model and the pose as well as build upon the layers that are created with each new gesture of the fellow vulnerable human being in front of me. - Enjoy!
Fine art prints for these pieces in a variety of sizes and mediums are available at ArtPrintExpress.com