Avocado at 11:00am

Michelle Wilcox

Avocado at 11:00am

I am a studio painter in Tallahassee, Florida where I will soon receive my MFA from FSU. My quiet-natured still life paintings revolve around two main ideas: pausing to look as an act of mindfulness and the representation of female gender in domestic space. The genre of still life was derived from female occupied spaces- domestic interiors such as kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms, and the objects in them. It was deemed as the lowest rank of painting genres in early history as it was assimilated to women’s work. I am interested in the parallel between women’s history and domestic space; and how the perception of them have evolved throughout time. As a contemporary, I want to see the domestic space beyond its patriarchal history; to recognize it not only for husband and children but as a language for female pleasure, self-expression, and autonomy. In this particular series, I describe the progression of natural daylight through simple observations of shape, light, shadow, color, and temperature in the subject of fruit. Each painting represents one hour of the day. I’m trying to achieve a quick harmony so that the paintings are a reflection of how much time we are actually able and willing to pause for this kind of dedicated looking. I simplify and abbreviate where I can, stopping when just enough has been said. I identify as a perceptual painter to describe the process of painting directly from life. Perceptual painting is inherently mindful; looking, seeing, and translating bits of visual information into an essence requires fullness of presence which embodies what mindfulness is- the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

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