It's Art Market time, Mobile!
Market on the Square is a Spring Arts Market sponsored by Mobile Arts Council. The Event will take place in Downtown Mobile Alabama's Cathedral Square this Saturday, May 5, from 7:30 am to 11:00 am.
I was very excited at the chance to interview Michele Traum, an amazing local artist and one of the many wonderful vendors who will be offering works of art for sale on Saturday. Michele creates striking floral and landscape paintings with a fun and vivid color palette.
Your bio said you are from originally from Rhode Island, but are now living in Spanish Fort. What brought you down South?
My husband and I had been living in metro Detroit for 15 years when he was laid off from a job in the automotive industry. One day, while job searching on the computer, he asked if I’d like to live in the south. I said, sure! I’ve always been very open to change - I think I moved about five times during my 20’s. We chose to live on the eastern shore of Alabama and absolutely love it here!
How many hours per week do you devote to your Art?
I try to do something art related every day. While I’d like to paint every day, that’s just not possible – as everyone knows, there are always things to do and errands to run. And I love to cook! So, if I don’t have time to paint, I’ll do some planning for my next painting. I like to spend at least four hours of uninterrupted painting time when possible.
How long does it take you to complete one painting?
That definitely depends on the painting – its size and complexity as well as if I want to achieve realism or more looseness and expression. My 6x6 paintings probably take less than an hour and the 24x36 ones between 4-8 hours – and that’s for realism. When I throw caution to the wind and just paint for fun – I might get an 8x10 done in 30 minutes. I’ve only done this once “TeAnne’s Sunflower– 8x10”.
And the times stated don’t include the planning. My planning consists of choosing photographs by cropping them in Picasa and then doing the “Threshold” command in Gimp. (Both of these programs are free downloads from google.com). With Threshold I can easily see if the photo/crop would make a good painting. It’s definitely worth the time spent on the computer because it can save a lot of frustration of painting something and later realizing that it’s just not working out because of it being a poor composition or subject.
Name your three favorite paintings you have done
My favorites are “Carrie’s Lily” (16x10), “Mother & Child” (24x36) and “Red Poppy” (8x10).
You are both self and formally taught. What have both methods done for your artistic process?
Both can be great methods of learning. There’s nothing better than observing a teacher painting and seeing his process as well as hearing his comments on why he’s doing what he’s doing. And it’s also wonderful having a teacher watch you paint and then getting his advice on what to do differently to achieve a better painting. As well, books are wonderful because you can read them over and over. The amount of information you absorb definitely depends on your passion for the subject. As far as how both of these learning methods have affected my art career – without either I wouldn’t be where I am today. There would have been a lot more trial and error.
What is your main artistic goal for yourself?
I’d like to become a full-time artist, creating colorful paintings that people will want to display in their homes or give as gifts.
Many thanks to Michele for doing this interview!
For more about Michele, please visit her website: Michele Traum Fine Art and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@MicheleTraumArt)
For more information on Market on the Square, as well as a full list of vendors, please visit Market on the Square on Facebook