Guest Blog: Everyday Inspiration by Michele Maule

by guest contributor Michele Maule

Hello everyone! My name is Michele Maule, and I run michelemaule.etsy.com (and also my blog, how 2 draw a cup of coffee). Jen asked me if I would like to write a guest blog entry for the day, and of course I said yes! I love guest blogging 😀

So, I’m going to blog about what inspires me to paint, or make art. There are several things that really inspire me. One of the most influential things in my art is what surrounds me. The place I live. My home, my town, my city.  These things have a huge impact on me thus they have quite an impact on what I paint.

I moved around a lot as a kid and Portland was the first place that I actually called home, it was the longest that I had ever lived anywhere. It was my home, and I loved making art about it.

About a year and a half ago my partner and I moved to Pontiac, Michigan, because he was accepted into a really great MFA program here. I knew the move would be hard, but I knew that it would be harder to stay behind…so I packed up and moved with him. It has been really difficult though. The hardest thing for me has been the loneliness that comes with living here. Don’t get me wrong. I really love spending time alone. However, it’s one thing to want to spend time alone, and a completely different thing to have to spend time alone…Michael spends a lot of time in the studio, and making friends has never been one of my strong points. It’s even harder when you live in an abandoned city, with no car.

That has been the main theme in my work for the past year and a half. Loneliness and missing home. So, these are some of the photos that I took that were the inspiration for this latest series of work.

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The mustard chair is Michael’s, and the brown chair (it’s really cream colored, but I like it brown better) is mine. We both spend quite a bit of time in these chairs, and I thought they would be great to represent each other.

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I also love using my shoes to represent me. One of the first phrases I can remember learning from one of my first boyfriends was that you could tell a lot from someone by the shoes they wear. I’m still not sure how true this theory is…but for some reason I always think about that…

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In some of my other works, I love using things that are considered outdated technology wise. Old typewriters, telephones, cameras that require film.

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All of these things used to be considered the top of the line machines, and now most of them are tossed aside and forgotten. I feel like maybe they might be lonely too…

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When I was little I use to think that all inanimate objects had feelings, and I guess that part of me has never really left. So I paint them, and they all seem to have their own personalities, which I really love.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about me and my work! Thanks to Jen for letting guest blog today! I hope you all have a great week! Love, Michele!

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About the contributor:  Michele Maule has been making art for over ten years and has a Bachelor’s Degree in art from Portland State University. Her specialty is printmaking and collage, but she also loves to paint and book bind. You can find her work in her Etsy shop, on her blog and on flickrShe also contributed to the Feed Your Soul Project.

5 thoughts on “Guest Blog: Everyday Inspiration by Michele Maule

  • April 2, 2009 at 2:22 pm
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    Ooh, I totally know what you mean—choosing to be alone feels like freedom, but being left alone out of situation is really hard. I’ve had to go through that with my fiance who likes to rock climb, which takes him away into the mountains for periods of time.

    I love the everyday nature of your work–and it’s great to see the side by sides here. Thanks for sharing!

  • April 1, 2009 at 8:45 pm
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    I love your work Michelle! So fun to see your original photos! Your freebie for Feed Your Soul was awesome as well – its hanging in my craft office!

  • March 31, 2009 at 10:36 pm
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    Michelle, this is great what you share. I can relate to the part about moving to an out of the way, small, quiet place and not having a vehicle — loneliness big time. I love your work!

  • March 31, 2009 at 8:18 pm
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    I came upon your blog from etsy, and I had to come here to read this post. I think it’s a great statement about art. It comes from the inside.

    And when you spend a lot of time by yourself, in a new city with no car and no friends (I’m in the same situation) you’ve got yourself and your creativity to turn to.

    So what’s your inspiration? What’s around you. What’s inside of you.

    All I’m saying, is I feel ya, sister.

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