Hayley Michelle is a Riverina, New South Wales-born artist who has spent time living within and loving parts of South East Queensland and Victoria. With a background in fine art and portrait photography, Hayley has been creating beautiful works in multiple mediums for the past two decades. She has been gathering up details of textures and tones over that time and has spilled them onto canvas to create a selection of unique and stunningly evocative work.
Now residing within beautiful Melbourne with her son, Alex, and her rambunctious bulldog, Bruno, Hayley works from her home, creating elegant abstract artwork, brought to life with such deliberate detail. Hayley is currently studying Visual Arts at The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology where she intends to expand her knowledge and experience in the arts.
What do you first do when you get to the studio?
My first step is always find an amazing playlist to support my mood and the flow of creativity.
How many paintings do you work on at a time?
I have always worked on only one at a time. I love to be able to let the entire piece come to life, with an uninterrupted flow from beginning to end.
Do you have a dream project that you would like to work on?
I would love to create something large, a collection of floor to ceiling canvases in subtle hues with a lot of texture.
If you could paint with anyone, who would it be?
It is probably cliche, but Frida Kahlo would be my first choice. She was so unapologetically unafraid to simply create with so much passion. Her depictions of her life were so beautiful, but her courage as an artist to just paint without fear was truly so special.
What’s your favorite way of generating ideas and inspiration?
I am a true lover of nature and being outdoors, feeling the warm sun or the crisp cool air on my skin, catching the scent of spring or salty waves in the air. I am a lover of the moon and of beautiful sunsets. I draw a lot on my time living in beautiful Phillip Island, where the sky fills with candy tones over the bay to the east, as the sun sets behind in the west, and waves in the most beautiful shades of blue crash over ancient volcanic rock. I listen to music and close my eyes, and remember the textures, the tones, and mostly the way it feels to be there, and I do my best to convey that on canvas.
How has your art evolved over time?
I was once a pencil portrait artist, drawing tight, realistic portraits from photos. I loved the skill involved, but felt that my passion for creativity wasn’t being fulfilled entirely. I craved to create loose, big painted strokes on canvas, to express emotion and truly capture what it is I love the most. When I moved in this direction, it brought me such peace and my work truly came to life.
What do you like most about your work?
That it is an authentic expression of me.
What is one word that best describes your style?
Is there an idea you would like to explore?
I would love to explore with more deliberate shapes and more texture.
What is your favorite time of day to paint?
In the morning. I feel so fresh and inspired when I first wake, the new day is like a fresh canvas. I love being up early, sipping coffee, and painting in those quiet hours of the morning.
Do you ever get “stuck” on a piece? If so, what do you do?
I do. Over time I have learned to leave it. Nothing good comes from pushing a piece, so if it isn’t flowing , its not right. I will leave it be, and may or may not come back to it later.
What is up next on your easel?
I am currently working on a small collection of earthy, neutral, more textured paintings, again inspired by the natural world with the colors and textures of elements such as clay and pumice. I am excited for what is unfolding.
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