Wednesday, April 3, 2013
This is the fourth post in my series on artists and their spaces.
I was honored to have the opportunity to meet and photograph Michelle Armas at her studio in the Icehouse Lofts. The lofts are in Decatur, one of my favorite areas of Atlanta. As I have been working in Atlanta with more frequency, I have been able to visit and experience some beautiful places, people, and spaces, and this whole time one of my favorites.
I guess I should begin by stating that I have been an admirer of Michelle's work for years. We somehow made a connection on social media-- I think it was instagram, and that led to me asking if I could include her in my series. I was ecstatic-- completely over the moon-- when she responded that she liked my work too and was excited to meet and work together. (It was one of those moments where you are just kind of like wow, I get to go do this, other people/artists actually notice what I am doing, this is amazing.)
Michelle is a warm, vivacious, vibrant woman who loves to smile and laugh. I think that comes across in these images. She's also super honest, a little sassy and slightly irreverent. And hilarious. I loved our time together. We talked about so much-- the good in our lives, what has been hard about our lives, how crazy Atlanta is (an angst-ridden teenager of sorts, so bipolar and all over the place). She loves beauty and her space was not only aesthetically beautiful but smelled sweet and fresh from flowers. I don't even need to write this -- it's obvious-- but she is immensely talented; not only as a painter but a graphic designer as well. Her studio is filled with these large scale, perfectly balanced and bright canvases. The studio has gorgeous light, and seems to be such an accurate reflection of her aesthetic.
My time with Michelle came after a super fun dance party drive to Atlanta (Tyler and I have a large time on our road trips), lunch with a dear friend that was kinda disastrous due to my two precious little ones being sick and frustrated with being in the car (and just generally struggling), and then afterward was followed by shooting a Sofar Sounds concert in Cabbagetown. It was a long and tiring day. But my time with her was this moment of connection and making art in the midst of a crazy day of normal life. It was like taking a brief step away from chaos and entering into a space of beauty and participating in our crafts -- her painting, my making images. Talking about why we love what we do and why we could never do anything else. Talking about both the pain and the beauty of life, and how they each bring out the depths of the other. Talking about process and our journeys, and how we wouldn't be the women we are today were it not for the hard things we faced. Please don't misunderstand me -- I love the chaos of my daily life, my precious children regardless of where they're at (or maybe more importantly, where I'm at), and the fast pace of shooting multiple gigs in a short period of time, all the things I do with Tyler and the creative connection/friendship we share. This isn't a comparison to any of those things. Rather-- it was a gift because it gave me perspective into the value of that life I described above-- the life I live every day. And I got to share this moment with an amazing artist.
You can view and purchase her works here, and read her (hilarious and awesome) blog here.
Thanks y'all, for everything -- the reading, the comments, the encouragement. Thanks for opening your lives to my words, and I am so thankful for every time some image I post or the words that I write resonate with you.
Be back soon with images and writing on Sofar Sounds Atlanta.
Posted by Paige French at 10:19 AM