Michelle Fogarty’s stunning still life paintings beautifully reflect a moment in time; a split second, or maybe a long afternoon. She imagines people sitting around a dining table surrounded by pattern, colour, plates, vases, jugs, flowers and food and aims to evoke feelings of happiness and love.
Art has always been a large part of Michelle’s life. “I have always been able to draw. My earliest memories are of me drawing at home with my dad, who is also an artist. Art has always been around me and enriched my life. It’s funny; people have asked me over the years, ‘How do you do it?’ I guess I have always taken it for granted but now I am lucky enough to spend every day doing the one thing I truly love.”
Michelle left her local high school and went to RMIT to complete her VCE, majoring in Fine Art. From there, she went on to complete a Bachelor degree in Fine Art and then decided on a Diploma of Education. She taught at her local Catholic primary school, enjoying the feeling of community and belonging. “I was even lucky enough to teach my own children, something I will treasure forever.”
For Michelle, there was always a longing for art. “I would paint every now and again over the years, raising my two children and running a home. It took all my courage to give up my teaching position and give art a real go. I left behind many wonderful memories.”
Michelle now works from her Berwick home, in a beautifully well-lit space which she loves. “I love that I have everything at my finger tips and especially love when I am home alone and find solitude and peace in my art. I love being surrounded by lovely things, so my home is my sanctuary.”
Inspiration comes readily for Michelle through the work of her favourite artists (Degas, Bonnard, Vuillard, Hopper, Vermeer, Matisse, Van Gogh, Gaugin, just to name a few!), particularly the colour in their work. “Colour brings joy, peace and happiness; colour is my everything. Oil on canvas is my preferred medium. It is thick and lovely, and I am able to work texturally and create some amazing colours that sing!” Flowers are also a constant source of inspiration and Michelle works only from fresh flowers that are in season. “I am always amazed at nature and how beautiful a flower or leaf can be.”
“I live through my work. My paintings consume me. I think about them constantly and always want to do better, to improve, and to learn. I am able to wake up in the morning, walk a few steps to my studio and dive into a world that is surreal. I pinch myself that I am so lucky to paint, to create, and hopefully spread a little joy into people’s lives.”
See Forman's range of beautiful Michelle Fogarty works here!