by Christina Clark
“I’m very much a figurative artist,” says Michelle Mjones, our first student artist of the month of 2017. Currently Mjones, a senior fine arts student in drawing and painting, is finding her creativity flowing through her as she works with oils and pastels, as well as digital painting. She has taken a shining to figurative sculpture as well, from a few classes she has taken with professor Dora Natella.
Drawing inspiration from the “old masters” in painting and drawing the figure Mjones says, “I strive to achieve a certain level of realism and anatomical truthfulness, but I’m also interested in incorporating contemporary ideas.”
“I also like 19th century academic painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau for his technical skill and use of light and luminous colors, and Robert Ferri, who paints surreal imagery in a very Caravaggio-esque Italian Baroque-style,” says Mjones.
The classes with Natella have inspired her because of the emphasis on anatomy, while classes with Ron Monsma “also aided me technically in my drawing and painting classes here at IU South Bend,” she says.
Very in-tune with her own creative process, Michelle describes how she works on her concepts: “A lot of my recent work has revolved around the abstraction and distortion of form in relation to the human figure. I often break my figures down by separating them into fragments and supplementing them with organic and geometric shapes, with focal points being given more dimensionality.”
“I’m interested in building up and subsequently deconstructing the figure. Ideas of identity and ‘the self’ inform my work, reflection the disassociation often felt with my own body, a disconnect between body and mind. As a result, a lot of the imagery I create consists of bodies viewed in parts, partially obscured, anamorphic, or swallowed by the void, while enveloped in a dreamlike and introspective atmosphere,” she explains.
Be sure to keep an eye out for more talented and thought-provoking work from Mjones in the future.