As we have seen this week, Mother Nature can be terribly beautiful at times. Kamloops artist Michelle Gill focuses her creative eye on the natural beauty of our local landscape, specifically trees.
Gill finds inspiration in the natural beauty that surrounds us — each branch, fallen log or collection of sticks on the ground.
“Mother Nature has always impressed me with her grandeur.
My favourite thing to do is beach/nature shopping, finding treasures and dreaming up ways to use it,” Gill said. “There is so much beauty surrounding us, and so many ways to soak it up.”
Gill doesn’t have to go far to find inspiration. Sometimes it can be close at hand.
“I do my best creating in my backyard with my feet in the grass, the sunshine on my face, listening to the birds chirping and swatting at the bugs,” Gill said.
She has a childlike quality, common among artists, because she likes to play. It is no surprise she loves children.
“My education background is in early childhood education,” Gill said. “I spent years teaching children the joy of art and to explore every kind of medium and to get dirty and have fun doing it. It filled my heart to see children having fun with art.”
Sometimes when the pressures of motherhood ease up, artists will find they have more time and space to pursue their creativity.
“As my children have grown up and started their own lives, I found myself more intrigued with different art forms,” Gill said. “I get very squirrelly at times. If you open your mind to something, it’s like the flood gates have opened up.”
Gill often spends long hours working on her craft, losing track of time in her creative process.
“When I’m creating, it doesn’t feel like work. I get such an amazing charge when I’m using Mother Nature’s gifts to make something,” Gill said. “All things made from the Earth have healing properties and we all need nature in our lives.”
She is also well-traveled, finding inspiration wherever she goes.
“I have spent years travelling and collecting many treasures and I love sharing them in my art creations. My husband always asks me, what’s that for? And I say, I’m not sure right now, but I will dream something up to use it.”
Her main materials come from nature.
“I use Mother Nature’s gifts of a variety of woods, crystals, shells, rocks, feathers and essential oils for my creations,” Gill said.