The Artwork of Michael Divine

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The Tyranny of the Real

When, as an artist, you choose to include ‘the real’ in your work – and I mean actual real objects or even just corners and elements thereof – you know, things like faces or noses or hands or leaves or cornices – you’ve stepped into the territory of ‘having something to say’ because now we are creating relationships. No object exists within a vacuum. All things have some meaning.

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Where Do We Go From Here?

A question I received from a fellow artist:

“I want to sell my images; I have portfolio books, am a shameless self promoter; gallery experience; trade show experience – all I want to do is paint. Who should I introduce myself to? What advice can you give me please?”

Who indeed!

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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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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 Value of F***ing Around

As an artist, they say, you should always be producing. And it should be better. And more. And also more better. And, the older you get, the more this adage echoes through your mind. Does what I’m doing have value? Is this worth the time I’m spending on it? How long until it’s done and how will it compare to previous works?

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Why You Should Make Art (according to science)

#5 – “Turning our problems into narratives can help us work through them” – is really a key part of my work. When I am thinking of what next to paint, I try to find works that help to guide me through my life, the preciously beautiful as well as the preciously tragic. The transference of thought into matter for no other reason than as an expression of ourselves and finding the patience to see it through, whether a napkin doodle or an epic painting, is an important part of our humanness to nurture. And if it is only to…  READ MORE

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The Big Mistake or Keep Moving Forwards

If you fail at something, it’s ok. I’ll be the first to tell you: I’ve failed so many times. It’s part of life. Often though, we only think it’s failing because we have these preconceived notions of success. The same is true for success. Success too is a social construct…

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Fonts: How We Say What We Say

Let’s talk about fonts because HOW you say something is nearly as important as WHAT you are saying. Rhetoric – speaking and writing in a persuasive manner – goes far beyond simple word choice. Our choice of fonts in the branding of our message offers subtle clues to observers of how we think of ourselves, the kind of image we are want to portray, and the audience we hope to connect with. When we read a text, we are reading it in the tone the speaker wrote as much as the tone it is packaged in.

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