Michelle Soule’

I was born and raised in Westchester County, NY , except for a 4 year adventure in Westport, CT. I attended Barat College in Lake Forest, IL with a degree in liberal arts. New York City, Madison Avenue, and the advertising industry called, and then Houston, TX. I loved the freedom and energy of the “oil boom”, and the feeling that one could create whatever one wanted. And so began my exploration of different cultures, and art, within the United States.

Art gallery management became my new career and passion with a move to Hobe Sound, FL. John Whitney Payson hired me as director of his contemporary art gallery there, with affiliates and travel to NYC and Portland, Maine, along with frequent trips to Santa Fe, NM. I visited artist studios, chose the art, and found I was carrying on a long family tradition. My great-grandfather, Martin O’Brien, had founded the illustrious O’Brien’s Art Emporium in Chicago in 1855, and then in Scottsdale until 1970. I loved selling the art, and uniting the perfect piece by an artist friend with collectors whose hearts had been touched.

After nine years, I moved on to Santa Fe, as director of Linda McAdoo Gallery. I was in love with Santa Fe, its architecture, its land, and blending of cultures. The jewelry of the Southwest fascinated me, and I began to create my own designs selling to upscale boutiques and galleries across the US. This continued with another move – to Asheville, NC, this time in the mountains and trees of Appalachia. In addition to the jewelry design, I began working in ceramic sculpture, creating angels, goddesses and meditating monks at the Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts.

In Carmel, CA I went back into the art gallery world, selling art at the 100 year-old Carmel Art Association, and again uniting the artist and collector. I lived by the sea, and in the fog, and absorbed the area’s culture of creativity and beauty. I studied sculpture with Coeleen Kiebert and at Monterey Peninsula College. I began to feel the call to paint, and began studying with Lauryn Taylor and Hannah Dalbey. New worlds began to open with gallery exhibitions and juried shows. I was creating jewelry, sculpture, painting … and selling art!

I wanted to experience living in the Rocky Mountains, so moved to Denver, CO in 2007, where I live in an artist community of lofts and studios. This has been inspirational and freeing for me, as my painting evolved from the archetypal to the abstract. Presently, I am concentrating on abstract botanicals, acrylic on canvas. They inspire and delight me with their movement, color and joy!

All of my work has been about timelessness and energy, whether it be the energy of the stones in jewelry, or the spiritual energy of the clay earth sculpture, or cosmic archetypal paintings, or the gardens I paint now. It is all ONE. I want to use the garden as a metaphor for life and love. Because I paint in an abstract, or semi-abstract style, the viewer can put himself in the painting and feel the emotions that the color and movement illicit.

My painting is not about the formal elements, nor the subject of the garden, but something more spiritual. I feel the joy, sensuousness, beauty, and ONENESS of us all in the garden of life, and it gives me purpose! It is my joy to share that with the world.

I have recently returned to the mountains of Western North Carolina, after living in California and Colorado for the last 18 years. It is a joy to be back in this most beautiful and powerful place.


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