The Artwork of Michael Divine

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Commissioned Portrait: “A New Perspective”

“A New Perspective” Acrylic/Canvas 15″ x 22″ A collector of my work, Eben Pagan, commissioned me to paint a portrait of him in my style. I don’t do a lot of portraiture so I enlisted Violet’s help and we worked together on this painting. She is more adept at creating from real life than I am. In that way, we tend to meet in the middle as my approach generally builds up from abstraction. Eben is quite a thinker, parsing different ideas and concepts through his mind in a really brilliant manner. The resulting piece is intended to portray the lens of the mind contemplating a flower and the various ideas and…  READ MORE

About a Painting: “Only Love Can (Reign Over Me)”

A preliminary word first: art is not made within a vacuum but is a part of the paths of our lives. This piece about the painting “Only Love Can (Reign Over Me)” is a sensitive and vulnerable bit of writing, and you should know in case you have sensitive vulnerabilities of your own that some challenging topics that involve my wife, Violet, are discussed. But, lest you think I betray her confidence and expose her innards without concern, this was written with consent and in conjunction with her. The best remedy for shadow is to bring it into light. –…  READ MORE

Woman At A Bar

I wonder if anyone at an art show in 1900 said “O, look, ANOTHER painting of a woman at a bar.” There’s SO many paintings of a woman at a bar. Woman drinking at a bar. Woman sitting at a table near a bar. Then, sometime in 1945, Max Ernst comes along and says, “Hold my absinthe” and he paints ‘The Cocktail Drinker.” The reason I mention this is you might look out on the artistic landscape and say: o another profile of a face, another soup of abstraction, another… and so on. But these paintings become the visual language…  READ MORE

Monet, His Waterlilies, and the Creative Drive

“Yesterday I resumed work. It’s the best way to avoid thinking of these sad times. All the same, I feel ashamed to think about my little researches into form and colour while so many people are suffering and dying…” – Claude Monet. 1914. While working on his water lilies paintings during World War I. I feel like this sometimes. There’s so much going on. There’s this endless stream of chaos beating down my door. Who am I to turn my back on this issue or that issue and “resume my little researches into form and colour” while so much pain…  READ MORE

Painting the Feeling

When you decide to be a painter – and I mean the painterly sort who is rendering shapes and objects and emotions – I think it’s important to always remember that you aren’t merely painting a representation of the thing, you are painting THE thing. It’s not a cloud. It’s all your feelings and ideas and archetypes of clouds.

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This One Trick Will Make You a Successful Artist

The trick – the secret – to being a successful artist is that – and I’m going to tell you right in the beginning and not make you wade through pages of text and links – and that’s good because no one has time for that because the secret of artists everywhere of all kinds and shapes and sizes is that, first and foremost, you have to

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The Artist as Storyteller

To be an artist is to be a storyteller. Artists are, in one form or another, telling a story with their creations. Even the artist who vehemently denies any story at all – I’m just making art for art’s sake! – is still a story teller since that, too, is just another story. The purpose of the storyteller in our world has always been, I think, to reflect back to us some aspect of our humanity so that we can better understand ourselves. We tell each other stories of grief, joy, pain, heartache, and connection. Perhaps the sharing of these…  READ MORE

You’ve Got to Carry That Weight (or that flame) a Long Time

“Sometimes when I don’t post enough progress shots, people begin to say I’ve lost it– Maura is washed up. This is never the case. I work diligently, every day, motherf***ers.”

– Maura Holden

Some time back, I came to a pivot point in my work and my understanding of the well from which I draw my inspiration.

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The Beauty of Original Art

Work in progress in my studio

To own an original painting is to have the original playing – the live perfect performance – of a song. I’ve met many a musician who has, in a painting I’ve made, seen a visual representation of a song, much as I’ve heard many a song and, in that song, heard an auditory journey of a particular image. Imagine if you could own Jimi Hendrix’s “Axis”. Or Beethoven’s 5th. Or Miles Davis’ “Agartha”. And so on. Each canvas print of a painting is like the perfect and pristine vinyl recording. The paper prints and posters are good quality CDs and,…  READ MORE

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