Mic Boekelmann is a late starter in oil painting and helps others discover the joys of basic drawing and painting principles.
Her award-winning portraits are testimony that art can take you to unexpected places.
She believes that art has the power to create more joy in your life.
Carrie: Welcome to Artist Strong Mic, please describe your art to Artist Strong readers.
My portraits highlight people’s beautiful and unique stories. It takes more than technique to capture a person’s inner essence. It takes honest curiosity and love for people around you.
When did you first realize the arts were an important part of your life?
About a year after my first child was born my husband encouraged me to go to a painting workshop. I was scared and thrilled at the same time – I almost didn’t go. But after learning how to stretch canvases and experiment with paint, I never looked back. I realized that this thing called painting reignited my creative side and I became more whole, more alive.
Carrie: Can you describe your artistic process to readers? For example, do you follow the same pattern and track when you develop an artwork from idea to product?
- Ideas: I usually get them when I’m taking a shower, taking a walk, or cleaning up the dishwasher. Ideas need time to bubble up in my mind and it’s usually when I’m not preoccupied with other things.
- Making idea a reality: I do a photoshoot with the idea in mind and then start painting with oils. I make sure the form and values look good.
- Let intuition dialog with ongoing creation: I give my intuition freedom and permission to play, explore and experiment with texture, drama and color.
- Finished product: I know when it is finished, when the primary intention of the painting has been executed. It’s a feeling that I have. You can tweak a painting forever, but there usually comes a time when you’ve reached a point of contentment. It comes with experience and knowing what you want.
What do you hope viewers take from your artwork?
Aside from sense of wonder and curiosity about the people around them, I would love for the viewer to dialog with what is in front of them and what it triggers in them.
Carrie: How does your life experience and emotional state feed into your art?
I put everything I have experienced in my life – joy, sadness, exhilaration, grieving, contentment, faith into my paintings. Even the life experiences I go through as I create a piece influences what will be on my canvas. The more you let your personal experiences inform your art, the richer it will be.
Carrie: Advice for people who are learning a new skill?
- Embrace your pace.
- Surround yourself with encouragers.
- Never ever give up.
- Make sure your teacher is speaking your language so you can understand.
- Put your sacred “creating” time on the calendar.
Carrie: Can you describe the evolution of your artistic style? (Have you always made art with this unique vision or what was your turning point into recognizing this style was your authentic “you”?)
When I turned 42, I decided to paint 42 paintings (small ones). It didn’t matter what the subject matter was. Whatever came to mind, I would paint. After that experiment, I saw that I really loved doing portraiture.
Carrie: What’s one piece of advice or practice on your blog or from your workshops that you find indispensable for your own artist practice?
Be kind to yourself. It ain’t the emergency room. Nobody’s dying.
It’s art for heaven’s sake!
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
When I see a person get excited about creatin,there’s a joy and excitement that can’t be concealed. This passion comes from a deep place inside of them. They’ve listened to it and are honoring it by creating what it says. These people are so psyched doing their work, they want to execute with excellence and they don’t care what other people think. That passion, which I can hear and see, is contagious.
Carrie: What is one creative resource you can’t live without?
Carrie: How do you define Creativity?
Creativity: The unique art you create with your particular skills, experience and passion. Everyone has it. Use it because it makes you come alive!
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Have you considered the special relationship of model and artist? How do you honor the people you choose to portray in your art?
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**Featured Image: Mic w_ Her Soul Sings – Caroline White Photography