M I C H E L E  G R I F F I T H S

Contemporary Fine Art Painter

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     This green Rainforest Series is my response to being in the rainforest of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. As with all my work, each painting evolves organically as I engage in a mindful, open-ended dialogue with it. I paint, sand and etch  the rough plaster of Paris surface that I have created. This process is repeated countless times and my imagination is on full alert, looking for possible forms to emerge and colour tones that instinctively feel right. In this current series, suggestions of tropical vegetation take shape, as well as other biomorphic forms, which I bring out (or not) depending on if I judge them to belong in the overall scheme of the piece. I often find that birds make appearances, as if they have flown in. (I am reminded of Jacques Prévert’s poem: ‘Pour faire le Portrait d’un Oiseau’.)

I aim to engage the viewer in a process of exploratory and imaginative ‘slow looking’. As when looking for wild life, patient observation is the key to seeing what is there. 

In the most recent painting,(Left) ‘A small, quiet Bird flew into the Rainforest’, a barely visible, tiny bird appeared in the light-filled clearing in the wild, dark forest. For me, this relates to the biblical “still, small voice” that speaks through earthquake, wind and fire.

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Over the past two decades of full time painting, Michèle has had regular solo and group exhibitions. Several works have been selected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the Discerning Eye, in the Mall Galleries. In 2015 she completed a commission of eleven large paintings for P&O. She was selected for the 2019 Florence Biennale. Last year, she was chosen for an international group show in Venice and she was shortlisted for Wells Art Contemporary. In 2021 she had a major solo exhibition in Chichester Cathedral: “Darkness into Light”. Frances Spalding and Rowan Williams wrote pieces about this.

 Initially steered towards an academic career, Michèle obtained a joint Honours Degree in Modern and Medieval Languages at Girton College Cambridge, where she also acted and designed a theatre set. Following a Postgraduate MA course in Modern and Cultural Studies in London and a year in Italy, she taught French and German in London Secondary Schools and attended Life Drawing evening classes. In her thirties, she survived a life-threatening operation, and it was while she was in hospital that it became very clear to her that she had to pursue her dream of going to Art School. Art was always her first love and by now she was already doing a 2 year part time Diploma in Painting and Drawing at Putney College of Art and Design. She applied for and obtained a place at Wimbledon College for a full time BA Honours degree course in Fine Art: Painting. Here, with eminent tutors including Prunella Clough, the path was set for her to develop her own unique voice as an abstract painter.

Latest Paintings

Works on Paper

MISCELLANEOUS Paintings

Darkness into Light