Show Preview | Michelle Courier

Truckee, CA
Art Obsessions Gallery, October 17-19

Michelle Courier, Yosemite Merced River in August, acrylic, 60 x 40.

Michelle Courier, Yosemite Merced River in August, acrylic, 60 x 40.

This story was featured in the November 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Michelle Courier calls Michigan home, but she has a strong passion for the American West. Courier spent the entire month of July hiking among the splendid scenery of Glacier National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Lake Tahoe. She packed a camera, sketch pad, and acrylics—her tools of choice for creating reference material. This month Art Obsessions Gallery features eight of Courier’s new landscapes and skyscapes inspired by her recent summer sojourns. The show, titled New Vistas, opens with a reception at 11 a.m. on Friday, October 17.

Courier inherited her love of art from her parents; her mother was a weaver and her father was a painter. As a youngster, she frequently traveled with her family during the summer, crisscrossing the United States to visit her father’s galleries. Early on, the artist’s life began to take root and hold a special appeal for her.

Today Courier loves to capture everything from the dramatic Pacific coastline to the vast South Dakota skies. Her colorful works, sometimes painted on a large scale, have an impressionistic feel to them. On location she combines a spontaneous approach with a penchant for detail.

A good example of her work is the painting titled AVALANCHE LAKE, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK. As soon as she saw an eye-catching scene, she knew immediately that she wanted to paint it. “This was the perfect hike on a perfect day,” Courier recalls. In fact, she couldn’t wait to get back to her studio hundreds of miles away to begin the painting. But she also wanted to be patient and collect as much information as possible about the landscape. Courier did a number of color studies and scribbled notes, and she took more than 500 photos of the scene for reference material.

Transparent water illuminated by dramatic light often inspires the artist. Her mission in creating the painting, she says, was “to have the same feeling of grandeur standing in front of the painting as I did standing there in person.” 
—Bonnie Gangelhoff

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Featured in the November 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art November 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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