{Spotlight On} Elizabeth Michel


Every once in a while, we like to put the spotlight on a mama or sister with a particular talent. Today, I would like to shine that spotlight on an incredible artist, named Elizabeth. Elizabeth is the owner and artist behind Painters Daughter. Her etsy store consists of beautiful digital files, Christmas cards, and canvas prints, in a wide range of prices, all created from her original paintings.

I had the privilege of interviewing her and would love for you to get to know her better.

A: Could you give us a brief intro about yourself?

E: Through my childhood my family switched from urban to rural a couple of times, finally ending up where my mom and dad are now—a farm in Raglan, Ontario Canada. Each year we tapped maples by hand and got “soakers” in the spring thaw. We were good at getting dirty (still are) and weren’t afraid of the sun or the scratches that emblazoned our thighs after loading the horse hay. It was here that we came to understand about the “fields being white unto harvest” or the Refiner’s fire that yielded something precious.
It was during our Cornerstone Farm years that my brother brought home the Dutch boy from down the road who became a fixture at our dinner table. They took their bikes down the road to each other’s houses before they had cars. Down the road I married that boy and even further down the road we are a little family of three with one more on the way, just trying to glorify the One who planned our story. And yes we do actually now live just down the road from the farm. We visit daily.

A: What age did you notice your talent or love of art? 

E: My love for art came before my talent. I loved to write stories as a child and illustrate the pictures. I have a book that one day I will finish (I hope.) I eventually attended Pensacola Christian College for Commercial Art. I then stayed for two years after my bachelor’s degree for a Master’s of Art. I now wield a brush and oils or, commercially speaking, my skills in the Adobe Creative Suite.

A: Do you have any current influences in your work?

E: I must carve out the time to feed my soul with exposure to the creation or Word of The Artist. He is undoubtedly my one inspiration.  I cannot do without either the inspiration that comes from walking in nature or by soaking in the Word of God through church and Bible study. It is when I am thriving here that my creativity blossoms because I have a scene that I can paint and a verse in my mind that has touched me deeply.

A: What inspires you to create?

E: I was told once that every painting or piece of art should have a story line subtly woven into the canvas. I find that because we grew up being taught biblical metaphors that related to the farm’s surroundings (thank you mom) I default to this kind of subject matter. There is always a line of comparison to be drawn and though I do participate in secular art forms, the most natural subject for me to create is fine art or photography with a spiritual message. My mentor and professor at college, Brian Jekel, is known for his life of Christ paintings made popular by Dayspring. Jekel’s pieces visually bring to life what we read on the pages of the Bible and touch an emotional chord. I am inspired as this art form resonates with what I hope my pieces will do for the viewers.

A: How long does each piece take?

E: A small still life painting can take an average of 6 hours to paint and then computer adjustments afterwards add five to ten more hours. Each piece is a process of its very own and it is difficult to peg down the average time. A lot. For instance, my teacup still life painting that I used in Perfectly Balanced had a very dark background and I didn’t want that look for the verse print so I Photoshopped out the dark and then created my own background texture from a peeling vintage table.  I have also created my own antiquing texture with antiquing paint, using Photoshop to incorporate it into the background.

A: Do you have a favourite? 

E: My favourite piece had a process unlike the others. I used to make a habit of taking my camera with me everywhere. I also have an affinity for long winding roads. One day the two habits serendipitously collided and I came out with a photo of an October field full of dirty sheep covered by purest white snow. If there wasn’t a spiritual lesson from that photo I didn’t know if there was one in the world. I kept it. I tucked it away for later use. It wasn’t until “Immanuel God with Us” was created a few years later that I realized its fullest use. So that was just the creation of the background for the well-known manger scene. The rest of the scene included my pregnant self hauling a wooden manger out to the barn with the tripod, ladder and blankets to stage the scene. I think that Mary the mother of Jesus and I came to understand each other a little better that day.

A: What are your hopes for your art? 

E: Every piece is a mixture of coincidence and hard work. Making myself available for the coincidence is very important. I’m in a position right now where that happens easily. I have a dog and child who both beg to go to Nanny and Pa’s to be in the glory of the woods where the unexpected inspirations are always hiding. I hope that this art form will always be pure and unforced, the thoughts of my relaxed brain mixed with evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit. When I cannot easily bring the two sides, the background and the scripture together I will know that there is a lack of zeal and a bit of soul repair that needs to be done. If verses aren’t fresh in meaning to my own soul, I cannot expect to encourage others.

Encouragement in those who dwell within is my hope for these prints when they hang on your wall. At shows I have observed my prints impacting unsuspecting viewers. They have shared their testimonies and thanked me for how the verse that they stumbled upon was exactly what they needed. It is my hope that in the warmth of a Christ filled home, the verse adorned walls, will speak spiritual health and nourishment to all guests who enter in. A verse ingrained in my head is the verse I read each day as I descended the stairs as a six year old. I know first hand the advantage of scripture hanging in the home.

A: Tell us more about how we can access your work.

E: My verse prints are available for purchase and average in the 50.00 to 60.00 ranges. They are canvas and are wrapped around a gallery style 1.5” deep frame so there is no need to frame but are ready to hang. I also sell a pack of twenty Christmas cards for twenty five dollars. Some of my etsy items are digital files and some are posters. I find that churches tend to buy the posters. They can be found online and shipped from PrintersDaughter or my etsy shop at PrintersDaughter. My original fine art paintings without computer manipulation or verse can be seen online or by appointment through the Buckingham Gallery of Fine Art in Uxbridge Ontario. They range in size and price between 200.00 and 2,000.00. The gallery would take care of the shipping of these pieces.

 

Soli Deo Gloria,

Amanda

 

 

 

 

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