Michelle Jane Kowalczyk
Michelle was born in Essendon, Victoria. Her ambition has always been to become an artist who has the Traditional skills and painting techniques of the Renaissance Artists while applying those methods to contemporary visions. Due to this, she has studied extensively in order to inform her art practice and develop her skills to a technical level that she can be proud of exhibiting. Unfortunately due to a highly self-critical nature, she has yet to have her first solo exhibition, however there are works that are finally reaching a standard she is willing to exhibit.
Michelle’s artwork stems mostly from a range of skill sets as traditional oil painting needs a long time to dry. Even with additional drying agents, large abstract artworks can take up to a month for only the outer skin to dry. As a result a painting can take months to create and even longer to dry fully. A finished Abstract can sometimes take 3 to 24 months to dry completely depending on the mediums she has instilled within the oilpaint. Fortunately, as long as the artwork is left undisturbed and untouched it can be on display as it dries slowly adorning the walls of her studio. Due to the long spaces of drying time between artworks and the expense of paint as she paints with only premium artist quality oil paints, Michelle has a variety of projects and while they still feature nature and her obsession with roses, they are all done with other mediums.
Drawings are initially developmental work for larger projects, but they are so detailed they cannot be considered sketches or plans. These drawings are then turned onto an idea that is painted either in another canvas artwork or onto wooden furniture or fashion. This allows for the artist to incorporate both her love of art and fashion into one world, while also recycling and re-using items people would rather throw away. This not only creates unique and interesting artworks that take less time to dry than the larger abstracts, but it also allows Michelle to keep her mind motivated on artistic tangent. It’s easy for an artist to become stuck or find themselves creating overly repetitive works that never change or develop along with the artist. Creating functional art is Michelle’s way of stepping back, switching gears and coming back to another work with more of a fresh outlook. The intricacies of curving images and altering them to work with furniture or fashion requires logical and experimental painting techniques. So does the additional lead lighting skills and glow in the dark pigment experiments that are starting to be incorporated into furniture pieces. It’s important for an artist to constantly develop their artistic practice and what better way than with ideas that inspire them.
So while her subject surfaces may be broad and range from canvas to furniture and fashion, her technique and love of emotional color and nature makes all areas of her art linked to be as important as one another. Without one area, the other would suffer so rather than limit her art development, Michelle would rather continue on the very time consuming quest to incorporate her art into every area she loves. In the future this will also be including 3D printing as part of the artworks.
Monash University – Master of Teaching (Secondary) – 2014-2016
Specialization – Initial Secondary Teaching in Visual Arts.
Double Method – Visual Arts Education 01 and 02.
Monash University – Short Course Certificate – October 2015.
Educational Planning for Students with Special Needs.
Monash University – Bachelor of Visual Arts and Media Arts – 2008-2012
Majors – Oil Painting and Art Theory.
Minors – Photography, Printmaking and Jewelry Crafting.
Artistic Achievements and Notable Moments.
2008 – Group Exhibition at the bar E-Fifty Five in Melbourne’s CBD.
Artwork – “The Man” (Oil Painting)
2009-2016 – “Wood Nymph” (12ft Chainsaw Sculpture) Installed on Monash University Campus Grounds where it stood for the past 7 years.
2012 – Group Exhibition at the Switchback Gallery.
Artwork – “The Chair” (Refurbished Magenta Rose Chair).
Artwork – “Blue Vines” (Refurbished Blue Rose Table)
2016 – Became a Professional Practicing Artist.
2016 – Finalist in the GRIEVE Competition with the Hunters Writers Society. (published in their eBook)
2016 – Group Exhibition with the Colors of Humanities Online Gallery. ‘Botanicals’
Artwork – “Hope” (Oil Painting)
Artwork – “Together” (Pencil Rose Drawing)
Salvation Army – 2005 – Volunteered at their Keilor Rd Salvation Army store as a helper.
Deafness Foundation – 2007 – Folded over 2000 boxes for butterfly pin fundraising.
The Switchback Gallery – 2010-2012 – Preperation for new exhibitions, artwork handling, exhibition set-ups, Opening Night duties etc.