About

I grew up in Southern France, close to the Mediterranean Sea, and I have lived in the US since 1982. Taking photographs has always been a passion of mine and I have always paid careful attention to composing my pictures. After a teaching career and while raising a family, the spark that reignited my artistic longing and interest was a watercolor class. I started using my own photographs as the basis for my drawings and paintings and since then my artwork has always been representational and highly personal. I alternatively represent the two continents that have been home for me and that embody who I am, a happy combination of two cultures, as I strive to incorporate into my work my emotional response to the places I have visited.  When I look at my paintings, they act as “Proust’s madeleine” as they make me relive the past and satisfy my nostalgic temperament.

My most inspiring mentors have been Vincent Van Gogh and John Singer Sargent. I love Van Gogh for filling his paintings with the light so unique to my beloved  Provence. We share the same love for olive trees, cypresses, sunflowers and the Mediterranean.  My encounter with Sargent at the National Gallery of Art in DC was an epiphany. The fluidity, spontaneity and dazzling light of his watercolors is unique. I was also stunned by his confident brushstrokes and the powerful intensity of the light in his oils. Since then he has instilled in me his impressionistic style and loose brushwork. With both Vincent and Sargent in my heart, I love creating colorful representational artwork trying to emulate their brushstrokes, their palette and their love for light. More recently I have concentrated on close-ups of flowers that I have rendered with subtle and sophisticated colors and tones after Georgia O’Keefe.

I don’t like my style to be set in stone. Besides academic style, impressionism and post impressionism, I also have tried fauvism. I believe it is important to evolve as an artist and try new ways of rendering one’s emotions though different techniques. I have recently embarked on a new adventure by creating a children’s story in English and French and illustrating it with watercolors. While it is fundamental for my personal happiness to re-create joyful memories and immortalize them on canvas or paper, I would also love to set sail with my audience on the Mediterranean and the Pacific, infuse my viewers' senses with the chirping of the cigales and the fragrance of the lavender, saturate their eyes with the yellows and oranges  of the sunflowers and the pumpkins, develop their taste for olives and coconuts… And when children and young and mature adults read my Encounter with the Sun, I wish to edify them with a lesson in art and life.

© 2020 by Michèle Paris-Seubert

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