August Artist of the Month: Michele Maule
Come to the shop this month to see the beautiful artwork of Michele Maule! We are excited to show some of her original pieces, as well as new prints, cards and best-selling Portland postcards!
Michele lives in Portland with her boyfriend and their comical Boston Terrier, Chloe. She graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Drawing, Painting and Printmaking (with an emphasis in printmaking) in 2005. She loves so many different kinds of art making. Michele often switch between painting, collage, printmaking and illustration. The art at Crafty Wonderland this month is a representation of animals, insects and myths that can be found in Oregon.
Our state provides some of the most beautiful landscapes and environments. It’s also home to many animals that aren’t always easy for us to see. I wanted to feature them in this show and give people a chance to see my interpretation of them in this series.
The American Pika was one of my favorite animals to learn about and paint. American Pikas can be found living among the rocky base of Crater Lake National Park, as well as mountainous areas of Central and Eastern Washington. They keep to themselves mostly, but they will yell out to other Pikas if there is any predatory dangers in the area. Also, they’re incredibly cute. Pikas have adapted to living in cold climates, however if they are exposed to more than six hours with temperatures higher than 77 degrees, the little Pika cannot survive. With global warming expected to raise the temperature of our planet in coming years, the American Pika could be in danger.
The Grey Wolf, or Timber Wolf, is another animal in this series that I fell in love with. Grey wolves inhabit Eastern Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. Grey Wolves are in serious endangerment in Oregon with as little as two dozen counted in November of 2011. The wolves were completely killed off in 1946, but have been making a very slow comeback. They are being killed mostly to protect livestock, and with the growing human population it is hard for them to maintain habitats. A couple of fun facts about the grey wolf include, their saliva can be used to help stop bacterial infections in wounds. Also, the alpha male, and the alpha female, are the only wolves in a pack that reproduce.
All of the animals in this series are important animals to us and our environment. I wanted to pay a small homage to those animals that I admire through these pieces. These paintings and drawings were a joy to create. Every tiny line that makes up their being gave me a reflective, meditative space to exist. My hope is that my love and appreciation for each animal is conveyed in each portrait. I also hope that people pay close attention to how their lives may directly, or indirectly, impact the lives of the animals that share this beautiful state with us.