Thanks to guest writer Cameron Hawkey for today’s post
When it comes to art, Michael Fields is a quiet man. He believes that art should speak for itself, rather than be introduced by rhetoric. It’s refreshing to hear this as an art school undergraduate, where one often gets the feeling that talking about art is prized more than the art itself. Based in Portland, Oregon, Michael is a self-taught artist and web designer. He explores his responses to the world around him by following the same process on his paintings- by exploring his responses to the shapes and spaces created by the ink and paint he lays down. “It’s an interactive Rorschach Test,” He tells me. For him, the process is the key to the finished product- finding the different threads seen in chaos and stringing them together to cohesion.
It’s the core of his creative process: don’t waste your time trying to transfer a complete image in your head onto the painting, or compiling references of what certain parts should look like. Get your references from the universe, and let the paint do what it wants to do.
When I say that Michael is quiet, it’s a bit of an understatement. Perhaps he was deeply absorbed in his work, perhaps he articulates his art in writing better than he does in conversation, but the handling of his dip pen and paintbrush are proof that he knows what he’s doing.
Today, he’s painting a butterfly. Or rather, a silhouette of a butterfly: the inside is a sprawling galaxy of ribbon-like strips, drips, ink blots, stripes and blobs ranging from thin emerald greens to a bright cotton candy pink. He confesses to me early on that butterflies aren’t usually what he paints. After inking a section of a wing into a thick powder blue, he pauses and tells me he wishes it were a bat instead. He seems to consider this for a moment, and then switches back to his .005 Micron to pattern a radial fan over a patch of yellow ochre. “When do you know it’s finished?” I ask him. He responds immediately. “When it’s due for a show.”
The last pictures is Michael’s work at the end of the day Monday. An update will be posted with a picture of the finished piece.