Michelle Turbide Studios
I am Michelle Turbide, an artist, seeker, and observer of life.
In a few words, I am an intuitive artist who uses shape, line, texture, and color to excavate a visual narrative from my inner liminal world. I believe within our imaginations are collective stories which relate to the shared human experience. Stories of resiliency, love, beauty, connections, and growth with an overall theme of journey.
I am inspired by nature, ancestral magic, Sacred lands, the animal realm, the Feminine Devine, the tenacious spirit of humans, and the connections between all of us.
My current series which has been evolving for several years explores the archeology of the spaces we inhabit and the ancestral marks that are left by the generations which come before us. Each piece is created using layers of media to excavate the line, shape and texture which tells a story of our human journey through these lands.
I engage in additive and reductive techniques to create these textural dreamscapes which exemplify the liminal space between current life and the remnants of all former habitants of our lands. As a fourth generation Vermonter, the pastoral landscape holds special meaning to me and is a central element of my work. I live in an 1880s farmhouse in the Champlain Islands of Vermont where I create from a home studio.
My process involves entering a state of liminal space and collective unconscious and excavating a visual narrative that holds the energy of the experience. My intuitive and sensory experience is the guide to where the paintings need to go. I begin with with blocks of color to ground me in the space of the piece and then I add layers of shapes and textures as I create. From there I listen for the story that wants to be told and use layers of opaque paint, transparent colors, inks, pastels, mark making tools, and glazes to create a depth to each piece. While the work itself is abstract there are remnants and visual hints of reality in my mysterious dreamscapes.
My abstract landscapes are indicative of the energy I feel from my travels through our lands or include narrative symbols as story tellers. Crow, heron, and sheep are the primary symbols which originate from my ancestral heritage and hold personal and cultural significance for me.
Living in the Champlain Islands, I interact with crows on a daily basis. They have become a personal symbol of my exploration through these lands. I find their habits, adaptability, synchronicity with the seasons, and need for tribe to be reflective of my human experiences.
My grandmother’s maiden name is Heron and we have almost daily sitings of herons in our area, including walking down our road, beside the estuaries, and along the shores. These visits have become a metaphor of the grandmother spirits that live within and around me who have tended the families, the lands, and our cultural agricultural history.
In the mid 1800’s my family was part of the “Vermont sheep craze” and raised sheep in the Bristol Notch area of Vermont. Sheep have become a symbol of those who guard the lands and observe the daily lives and happenings on the farm. They hold the wisdom of our farming ancestry and provide a discerning guide in my artwork.
These three, along with other symbols, are placed into the paintings using hand cut stencils and archival spray paint. They provide a narrative quality to my work which intuitively unfolds while I am creating each piece; layer by layer.
In addition to painting on single substrates, I am an avid art journal keeper. It is a space to explore my internal emotional landscape and a sacred ritual of my creative practice. Most of my reproductive prints come from the pages of my journals as a way to share the stories that I commune with in these pages.
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51 Reynolds Road
Grand Isle, VT 05458