Michael Weisel is a painter based in Columbus, Ohio. His fine art educational background includes coursework at the Art Student League in NYC and The Canterbury College of Art in Canterbury England.
Behind The Work
The inspiration for my work can come from many sources but is rooted in personal experience and personal connection. In making a painting or drawing I often will combine a variety of disparate elements, both in content and style, and try to create a work that brings these elements into visual harmony.
Any painting or drawing may have an interesting story or history behind it, but for me, in the end, it has to stand on its own visually to be successful.
Like a piece of music where the written notes on the page may be fixed, in the listening each listener brings something different to the piece of music and hears the music in their own way, a painting can do the same. Each viewer standing in front of the work brings their own story to their viewing of that work and may see or interpret that work in strikingly different ways than the next viewer.
I like the idea that a work can take on a life of its own; even if that life is far apart from my original intent in making it.
For me, a painting usually starts with an idea, personal experience, or an image that caught my attention.
Sometimes I may do a small undetailed preliminary sketch, or perhaps a small study and then I will usually put some form of that basic composition on the canvas. From that point forward the painting takes on a life of its own, where I tend to react more to what is in front of me on the canvas than what might have launched the painting to begin with.
It is not unusual for the finished painting to seem like a distant cousin to, or be unrelated to where it began.
Because I tend to work this way, a large part of the challenge in making a painting is to not allow preconceived notions about the work to get in the way of where the painting may go.
This can feel pretty risky at times but I usually find that the place somewhere between comfortable acceptance and blindly jumping off of a cliff is where most of the good work lives.