Erin Michaud: Oil and Acrylic Portraits

Erin Michaud:  Oil and Acrylic Portraits
July and August 2024
Opening Reception Saturday July 20, 2024  2 – 4 p.m.

Erin Michaud was born in rural Eagle Lake, Maine, a Francophone and Anglophone community near the Canadian border and currently is a New Haven and Hamden based artist.  Their work features acrylic, oil, and watercolor compositions and photography inspired by quiet periods of solitude, long walks in nature, and Zoom meetings.   Erin is also a visual arts teacher, teaching painting, mixed media and art history in New Haven.

“The shutdown of the society we were accustomed to exposed the uncaring nature of seclusion, and even those who didn’t live alone at times still endured the mundaneness of living a lonely life.  I now see it as a gift; after years of not creating, I felt the strong urge to write, draw, and paint again.  In the years 2020 and beyond, I have seen a global shift in valuing the collective over the individual.

For centuries, portraiture was frequently used as a symbol of power, wealth, importance, authority, virtue, status or beauty; it’s also the most recognizable human indicator of mood or condition. Scientific studies have named four perceived roles of face: as highlight of appearance and look, as indicator of emotion and character, as focus of interaction and relationship, and as locus of dignity and prestige. It is argued that the figurative extensions are based on some biological facts about our face: it is the most distinctive part on the interactive side of our body capable of revealing our inner states.

I have been lured into studying faces, which for months were hidden and mysterious behind masks and has inspired me to paint portraits of both friends and strangers, some of which are shared in this show. These oil and acrylic portraits capture feelings, moments, and a range of emotions.”