About This Blog

My name is Michéle P. Owens and I am a Visual Artist. My studio is based in Olympia Fields, IL (Chicago born and raised--South Side). I love to create in various mediums. Most recently I have been painting with acrylics. I love to create! To start with something so vague and distorted and then to end up with something that explains the vagueness or distortion is more than intriguing to me (more about me and my art later). I started this Blog as an extension of my website (www.michelepowens.com). It serves many purposes: a means of 'exhaling' while I work--to release the crowded thoughts that might interfere with the process of creating art; and as an online avenue for creative and expressive writing.
Let's see what will come from this..

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Other Happenings This Year

Black Creativity 2009: Green Revolution [national exhibition]

Museum of Science and Industry - 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive - Chicago, IL

January 15 to March 1, 2009

2009 Illinois Alliance for Arts Education Service Recognition Award

I was one of three honored in the state for outstanding service in visual arts education. The Awards Ceremony was held on Thursday, March 19, at Quad City Arts (1715 2nd Ave., corner of 2nd and 17th) in Rock Island, Illinois.

It’s Obama Time: ARTWORK INSPIRED BY BARACK OBAMA" [national exhibition]

The Harbor Country Progress Center - 16142 Red Arrow Hwy - Union Pier, MI

May 2 through October 31, 2009 (new art rotation begins July 29, 2009)

This is a test sms blog message. Self-reminder: Update and revise personal site.

Benches on The Avenue 2009

May 16 - October 1: Benches on the Avenue - Along Oak Park Avenue
My bench is on the corner of 173rd and Oak Park Avenue (in front of the train station).

"View the beautifully, hand-crafted benches with original artwork from community artists depicting the theme "Classic TV.""

Vote for Your Favorite Bench You Must Register Before Voting.

Southtownstar Online Video Interview

No time to sit when working on Tinley bench
Published: 04:00 AM May 24,2009
Michelle P. Owens just loves power tools. So there was little hesitation when she was asked to create one of the 19 pieces for this year's Benches on the Avenue event in Tinley Park. Even her students at Nathan Hale Middle School offered ideas for her bench art.

Southtown Star Newspaper - Neighborhood Star - Sunday Final Edition
Grab Some Bench
May 17, 2009 & May 24, 2009

Tinley Junction
Takin’ a seat in TV Land
Benches return to Oak Park Avenue

by Jamie Lynn Ferguson (j.ferguson@22ndcenturymedia.com)
May 22, 2009

Artists taking a brush to the bench for the first time this year are Suzanne Bushno (Scooby Doo), Michele P. Owens (Classic Puppet Theater), Beau and Bladen Saunoris (Popeye), Matthew McCormick (Bozo), Easter Seals Therapeutic Autism School and Oaks Construction Services of Hazel Crest (Thomas the Train), and Andrew Welch

50 | 50 Regional Art Exhibit - Union Street Gallery

50 | 50 Regional Art Exhibit

Exhibit Dates July 10-August 30 | 2009

Free Opening Reception Fri | Jul 10 | 6-9pm

Regional Artists explore their stories in traditional and 21st century media, they investigate nature, urban life, textures, colors, sound and video, and so much more. From dreamy to quirky, from lush color and texture to soft organic forms, the art is as diverse as the number of artists on exhibit. Art is for sale with prices ranging from $50 and up.

I have 3 paintings in this exhibition - one work was donated for gallery fundraising efforts. The picture below is the donated piece (Spokes II - acrylic - 8" x 10" - 2008).


Gallery Hours 12 Noon - 4pm
Saturdays - Wednesdays - Thursdays - Fridays
Union Street Gallery - 1527 Otto Blvd - Chicago Heights - IL 60411
Phone - 708 754 2601 | Email - unionstreetart@sbcglobal.net

Canvas Project 2 - Art House Co-op

July 31 - September 4, 2009
Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Airport Atrium Gallery
6000 North Terminal Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30320
September 25, 2009
Atlanta, GA

Art House Gallery
309 Peters St
Atlanta, GA 30313

To visually create definitions on five 3" x 3" canvases using any desired medium (I chose paint markers), focusing on a list of 5 randomly selected, Art House Co-op community generated words - each word on its respected canvas. I also purposed to try and keep with including some form of abstraction in the project.

In working on this project I was reminded of my dislike for working small...I definitely prefer something much larger for working on. Not only is it easier on the eyes, but I feel freer and more fluid when I work larger. This was a reminder to appreciate those artists who feel opposite of what I do - those who prefer this small expression of creativity. Still, I have seen some wonderfully impressive works in a small format. To each his own...just keep arting!

In addition to the exhibition at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport's Atrium Gallery in Atlanta, Ga, one or more of the canvases will be included in a book entitled "The Art House Encyclopedia VOL. 1".

This was my first experience with traveling work and with Art House. It was fun and inspirational, especially when reviewing some of the other work that was created for the project.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

With These Hands - 2009 Sculpture Show

This is my first professional curating experience...

...I will also have a sculpture in the show.


The Tall Grass Arts Association presents “With These Hands”, a compilation of sculptural works and wall images, beginning on Friday, July 10 and running through September 13. The exhibition will open with a reception and introduction of the artists on July 10 from 7:00 until 9:00 p.m. The gallery is located at 367 Artists Way in DownTown Park Forest, adjacent to the Park Forest Village Hall. Admission is free.

The exhibit features the works of local and national artists. It will be the first of its kind for the Tall Grass Gallery and the first time several of these artists have exhibited in the Chicagoland area. Their combined artistic goal is to engage the viewing public in the magic of sculpture. Included in the exhibit are works by Joshua Andres, Patricia Bohannon, Louis Greer, John Hansen, Angela Lee, Michéle P. Owens, Michael Ruback, Eric Steele, Jan Stewart, Grant White and Robert R. Williams. All of the artists in the exhibit have studied and created works in other art forms but have come to prefer the “hands on” art form of sculpture. Each has experienced the joy of the combination of thoughts and three-dimensional representation of those thoughts.

Joshua Andres from Benton Harbor, Michigan, focuses on one-of-a-kind metal fabrications. His work has been displayed throughout the Midwest. Joshua says about art, "Artwork colors our lives and makes them interesting. A world without art would be a drab, dull place with no feeling. My world revolves around art, not only my art, but all art, new and old. Art documents the history of our world, not with words and quotes but with feelings and emotions. Art for me is an outlet. It is a way for me to express my feelings and emotions to the rest of the world. I work with different media to achieve different goals and to express different feelings. The art I create speaks of me and of my world. If I am to be remembered, this is what for."

Michael Ruback, a participating Chicago artist who was initially trained as a musician, states, “My work is better than I am. It is freer, more generous, more open-hearted and braver”. His realistic bronze hands provide a whimsical and dynamic viewing experience.

Robert R. Williams from Stevensville, Michigan says that his “motivation is more for the love of the process of doing, rather than a desire to say something”. Robert's life-sized, realistic three-dimensional portraits compel one to appreciate the “visual beauty” of his subjects, which may not be immediately apparent to the casual observer. Robert works in plaster, bronze and other media.

Chicago artist Angela Lee creates stoneware works, which resemble Middle Eastern design and are “recorded, etched, drawn, or painted on the surface or molded into the form itself”. Lee uses fired stoneware to capture the colors and shapes of body modification—elements that fade, distort and decay with age—in a static state. In her unique manipulation of the human body, Angela allows the subject to become the “principal embodiment of thought, feeling and emotion”.

Grant White, an artist from Ford Heights who works in bronze, exhibits regularly in the Park Forest Art Fair. One of his works was selected for the Tall Grass permanent collection.

In addition to bronze, ceramics, and plaster, other artists have included sculptures formed with steel, wood, copper, paper maché or a combination of these materials.

"With These Hands" was curated by CouSandra Armstrong, Michéle P. Owens, Donna Radcliffe and Grant White.

For additional information, call the Gallery at (708) 748-3377 or check the Tall Grass Website at www.tallgrassarts.org. More information about participating artists and other exhibit details can be found on the Tall Grass Arts Association web site (www.tallgrassarts.org).

Monday, September 29, 2008

Announcements & Shows for 2008

November 2008
The Love of Art - Annual Fine Art Show (Juried) - Lemont Artists Guild
16028 W 127th St, Lemont, IL

October 2008
Fall Into the Arts - Fine Arts Festival (Juried) - Art Catering By Jenn
1312 N. Park St., on the Eckley Quad of Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL

Winter Solstice (Gallery Exhibition – Group) - Tall Grass Arts Association
Downtown Main Street, Park Forest, IL

September 2008
Park Forest 53rd Annual Art Fair (Juried) - Tall Grass Arts Association
Downtown Main Street, Park Forest, IL

July 2008
Geneva Arts Fair (Juried) - Geneva Chamber of Commerce & Geneva Arts Council
S. Third Street, Geneva, IL

Orland Park Arts Festival (Juried) - EM Events LLC & The Village of Orland Park
Orland Park Crossing, Orland Park, IL

June 2008
Annual Gallery Artists Exhibition (Gallery Exhibition – Group) - Tall Grass Arts Association
327 Artist Walk, Park Forest, IL

27th Annual Homewood Fine Art Fair (Juried) - Homewood Chamber of Commerce
Richard D. Irwin Park, Homewood, IL

March 2008
Annual Beaux Arts Ball: Tell Me a Story (Art Auction) - Tall Grass Arts Association
Idlewild Country Club, Flossmoor, IL

February 2008
Taste of Bamboo Blue (Scholarship Fundraiser) - William Simpson Scholarship Foundation
18147 Harwood Avenue, Homewood, IL

Monday, March 31, 2008

New Orleans Art N Culture: Dooky Chase is filled with colorful walls and food!

This is a duplicate (except for the picture) of a post that I wrote for another blog about NOLA...

I was at Dooky Chase on Friday, March 28th and OMG it was beautiful and DELICIOUS! I took pictures and video as Leah Chase and I discussed art, cooking and plans to open for full dining within a month. I am not a NOLA native and this past week was my first visit. It was a wonderful all around experience! The rebuilding in the French Quarters looks good, but it would be even better when other wards are renovated. Until then, Dooky Chase shines among the remnants of communities struggling to be reborn. NOLA stole my heart!

I am willing to share pictures of Dooky Chase remodeled and a current picture of Leah Chase (one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met..reminded me of my dear Big Momma--God rest her soul). Again I say, NOLA stole my heart!

More pictures of Dooky Chase - Rehabbed:

11:00 am to 7 pm Monday through Thursday (as of April 1st, 2008)


I had Stewed Chicken, Candied Yams, Green Beans, Macaroni & Cheese and Peach Cobbler...WOW, OMG, DELICIOUS!!!
(These are actual images of my meal, which I devoured on the plane ride home)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

National Art Convention - New Orleans - March 2008

I have been in New Orleans since Saturday the 22nd of March for the national art convention. It has been AWESOME!!! The convention officially began today, but I have been exploring the French Quarter and other areas. I have so much to show and discuss, but not at this moment...it's 1sm and I have seminars to attend in the a.m. Just to drop a hint or two about the great time that I'm having...
Great food (except for the Popeye's on Canal street), smooth live jazz and other music, very kewl souvenirs, a Mississippi cruise, Mardi Gras World (opening reception sponsored by Crayola), shopping at Riverwalk, A N'awlins cooking class (Mmmm...pecan pie), working on mosaic murals for local schools, and my absolute favorite event so far...a glass blowing class. Pictures, videos, and drawings/sketches coming soon...to sleep now.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Vending at Taste of Bamboo Blue

On February 10th I participated in the Annual Taste of Bambooblue. This event, sponsored by the William Simpson Scholarship Foundation (http://wsesf.org/), was held to raise scholarship funds for African-American high school students. It was an interesting evening of art, poetry and good food. I met some very interesting people and made some good connections for future showings and new friendships. One of the best parts of my participation was the sale of two recent pieces (Humility I and Humility II). The buyer and I made an agreement that I would not offer prints or duplicates of the paintings so that he would own one-of-a-kind originals. I was honored that he would want such an agreement. He is also and artist (a photographer), and I hope to add some of his work to my own collection one day. Anyway, if you end up on Homewood, IL (708-799-4700) in search of some exquisite pan-Asian food, the blue is for you.
My favorites: Chicken pot stickers, Chicken egg rolls, Asian quesadillas, corn and crab chowder, mini-burgers, & crab cakes. The sauces and dressings and excellent, especially the blue cheese--no pun intended .

Many thanks to Robert Barber and Frame Masters (Matteson, IL) for great service in choosing frames for these pieces. Did I mention that I really dislike framing my work?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Art Plans for 2008

I am not much into new year resolutions, but I do find value in having a good plan. During this time people traditionally think about losing weight, building or ending relationships and various career changes. These thoughts are also in my mind, but I make no promises in this regard. Still, this is the first time in a long time that I entered the new year with thoughts of planning for my art for the year. Nevertheless, the question arose in a certain art group regarding plans for art in the coming year. Part of my reply is as follows and is in no particular order (altered slightly):

1. Paint & draw like crazy (the sketches in my sketchbook out number my finished paintings of those ideas, and I have not completed a full drawing since 2006)
2. Get rid of my 'small' canvasses (I prefer to work large so I think it time to be truer to my creative desires. Working smaller is sometimes hard on my eyes.
3. Complete at least one sculpture series (it has been hard to work life-sized with the space we have, but I am moving to a bigger studio/room in the house--still rearranging and planning on a new table saw and casting supplies)
4. Complete a self-portrait (I haven't done one in almost 20 years)
5. Get my work shown in an exhibit or two
6. Publish more art videos (I have enjoyed the technology process of putting together speed paintings of my work, which I then upload to YouTube under the user name Art4SakeOfArt). I would also love to produce a safety art video for my class, but that may be a goal for next year.
7. Add a painting or drawing to each main room of my home (after more than 7 years in this house and still no art on the walls--I purpose not to hang the art of others in main areas of my home, but I have been considering a room of influence where I would hang the art of my inspiration...we shall see).

Length of time to complete a work

This posting was stirred from a question on an art group that I subscribe to. The question arose about how long it takes to complete a work of art. Well, a lot of it depends on size, medium and time available for creating, but in general I could not believe some of the responses. The answer that shocked me was that one artist had waited 5 years for the right inspired moment to finish a painting and that she was in the process of working on 2 paintings that were 2 yrs old.

Years on a painting...WOW!!! That would have to be one HUGE painting (mural). Such a project would become so boring to me. I need newness. I have too many ideas to stay focused on any one project for that long. I could not imagine taking more than a week on a painting or drawing (two weeks or more on a sculpture because of the size that I like to work). I am waaay too anal ... I mean impatient for such long projects. Once the images of a project enter my head and I begin the process of creating for a finished work I must follow through until it is done. It almost becomes a narrow-minded obsession. If I stop for more than a day or two my mind and energies become focused elsewhere. I am solely dedicated to one project at a time. maybe that is why I switched to acrylics and left the oils behind (I hated the waiting process). Still, I am very good at multitasking in all other areas of my life. I guess when it comes to my art I purpose to slow down and give it my undivided attention, but it needs to be done in the constant now.

In summary, anything other than a sculpture usually takes me less than two weeks to complete. The closer to two weeks it takes me, the more my mind has begun to consider other things and it begins to feel more like work than the passion of my heart.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Humility II Speed Painting

16 x 20 acrylic on canvas. 12/07
--Posted from Art4SakeOfArt - YouTube

Sunday, December 9, 2007

More Studio Picts

This is a Google Sketchup Model of my studio

Saturday, December 8, 2007

More about me: My rebirth as an artist

In the Spring of 2001 a basement flood ruined much of my previous work. Paintings, drawings, sculptures...oh the tragedy. I mourned appropriately and decided to start fresh. I bought a new sketchbook and began to record the things around me, but still no real move toward the dreams of my heart in relation to art. My work was halted yet again, but tis time for medical reasons. I was diagnosed with macular degeneration in both eyes, and I was nowhere near the age of retirement. Some vision was lost, my spirit was wounded, and I began to lose hope. I wondered if I would be able to 'see' art the same (in that unique way that gives an artist his/her identity). After several years (circumstances what they were), a few discomforting eye surgeries, and a whole lot of prayer, I was faced with the feeling of now or never.
For more than a decade, before these dramatic life changing events, I created for local patrons (general greater Chicago area). My work focused on graphic designs (t-shirts, banners, posters, flyers, business cards, & logos) and murals. The only other work that I had the time or space to do was for personal display. Still, this was not fulfilling enough...and so, in the hopes of walking boldly and intently in the vocation that I am called, I am creating whatever flows from my hands. I have a new determination to succeed as a visual artist, and a wisdom about preserving and documenting my art.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thoughts on painting

Most of my paintings are abstract. I like to focus on scenes from life, everyday objects, animals, and natural elements. I can be just about anywhere and begin to see the basic geometric form of the things around me. Details in scenes, environments, people, animals and things begin to fade away to leave basic outlines, shapes and forms for my understanding. Perhaps this way of looking at things is promoted by the loss of some of my eye sight from complications with macular degeneration (early 2004), or perhaps it is an internal method of ignoring the chaos of life for the sake of simplicity. Still, I have found a certain amount of complexity in every element of life. Moreover, I have found myself drawn to certain tones and the expression of texture, contrast, patterns, movement, and color. My palette has so far been consistent, but then again you use what you have.

This is an image from my studio. It was taken with a cell phone so it's not so clear.
Silver Streak - on the easel, Fluid - bottom easel,
Fabric Roses I & II - on the right, & Abstract Animal I & IIII - far left

Show and Exhibition Annuncements

9/15/07 - 9/16/07
52nd Annual Art Fair of Park Forest - Juried Exhibition
10am to 5pm daily - Booth #62

Tall Grass Arts Association
367 Artist Walk - Park Forest, IL 60466 - 708-748-3377

A Paintings Slideshow