In Michelle Gilks’ artistic habitat, butterflies envelop the serene skies, ocean occupants maneuver their way through an aquatic abyss and those with four legs offer up curious contemplation.
Drawn to beauty in its most organic, earthly form, West Australian artist Michelle Gilks pays close attention to the way in which colours interact with each other on the open canvas and utilises these connections to represent nature’s splendor.
While Michelle’s work encompasses a wide array of kaleidoscopic tones, she frequently finds herself drawn to deep turquoise hues, which bring about a feeling of calm and healing.
Michelle utilises a process of layering to create animalia images, in an endeavour to represent both beauty and joy. Upon selecting a few colours of paint, she begins the process of creation by laying these down on the canvas in a free, random style.
As her process continues, she incorporates smaller brush stokes, stencil work and additional patterns, thereby creating a unique level of dimension and spirit. At some point in this process, a subject suggests itself and Michelle begins building up a more definite image.
While animal illustration will continue to be an integral component of Michelle’s work, she is currently in the process of exploring new artistic concepts that include human portraiture and pop culture imagery. An early example of such is captured in Marilyn, a portrait of iconic entertainment figure Marilyn Monroe, one of several dozen works that can be viewed via her Art Lovers shop.
When pressed about her advice to others in the art community, Michelle advises against drawing comparisons and maintaining a consistent watch over others online. She finds that doing so can become overwhelming and ultimately lead to feelings of discouragement.
Instead, she finds it best to simply create and takes comfort in the fact that never do any two artists produce their work in exactly the same manner, style or process.