Michelle Lindblom — Red Chair Gallery Artist

((L) Michelle Lindblom in her studio (R) Water by Michelle Lindblom. Photo courtesy of Red Chair Gallery)

Introspection and self-evaluation are always alive in Michelle Lindblom’s paintings. The artist is a prolific blogger who analyzes her emotions and behavior to fuel her art. “I’ve always painted as a means to release what’s inside,” she says. “The more I write, the more I can make sense of my environment.” Her bold and colorful abstract acrylic paintings are showcased at Red Chair Gallery in April.

A recent topic she has blogged about is the emotion of rage in society and herself and the need to release it. In our currently polarized populace, we see everyday occurrences of enraged behavior all around us — in the supermarket, a parking lot or a waiting room. Lindblom writes about letting it go through art, words, music or activism. “I use written words and visual art to bring my rage to the surface,” she writes.

“I always start with huge strokes, just getting everything out there,” she explains. Then she steps away for a while and later resumes work in a more refined manner. “I try not to overthink too much because that leads to forced results,” she notes. When she completes a work on canvas, it feels like a release of whatever emotion she is channeling. One “rage painting” shows a form that resembles a plait of long hair unraveling, relinquishing the tightness of rage.

Some topics that Lindblom blogs about are also derived from current events. Last summer, she read widely about Oregon’s twin perils of forest fires and drought and used her visualizations of those conditions in her work. The result was two paintings, one titled “Fire” and the other “Water.” The former is a blazing orange and red swoosh evoking the speed and fury of fire; the latter is a mix of blues—navy, aqua and marine—crashing downwards like a giant surfing wave.

In addition to painting, Lindblom also creates monotype prints, some of which look abstract while others incorporate natural materials. Lindblom uses a sheet of plexiglass cut to the required size and then bevels the edges and roughs up the surface with sandpaper so that it holds the printing ink well. She then applies water-based inks and adds textured materials such as dried flowers and leaves, fabric or even a shed snakeskin and lays the plexiglass on thick print-making paper that has been soaked in water. The sandwiched materials are rolled through a press to create a unique print.

Lindblom, who has an undergraduate degree in visual art from the University of New Orleans and an MFA from the University of North Dakota, taught art for 24 years at Bismarck State College. She is a member of the National Association of Women Artists and has been juried into several exhibitions, four in New York City. Here in Bend, she has participated in exhibitions at various venues: The Alexander, Oxford Hotel, Franklin Crossing, Sage Gallery and Framing, UUFCO and the Commons Café. Last year, her work was accepted into two online exhibitions through Manhattan Arts International, Herstory and National Association of Women Artists, At a Crossroads. Recently, she joined the board of directors of the Ellipse Theatre Community here in Bend and has been curating art exhibits linked to their theatrical productions.


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