Michelle Connolly

"I've always loved to draw and paint, that’s a part of who I am. There is a thrill in creating something new, each work has so much potential it keeps you working searching for something new. Chiefly self-taught, I find passion and self-expression through my art and revel in the thrill of being free to create my artwork."

Moving to Wilmington NC from Sydney Australia in 2007 has been a blessing in disguise for Connolly -- for the first time she was able to work full time as an artist in her studio at ACME Art Studios. She goes to work with a constant stream of ideas and creative energy and creates a variety of artwork, paintings, drawings, and prints.

She explores various subjects for her paintings, best known for works of the Emu bird, other Connolly characters are formed from other wild creatures -- goats, rabbits, dingos, birds. A fascination with circus life led to a series of lino prints and monoprints of circus performers in a print show in May 2010. Recent work includes portraits of friends she has made in Wilmington. She enjoys working in oil paint but also likes to explore other materials, enjoying texture in her paintings.

The subject is irrelevant. Whether an animal, a bird, a person or a landscape -- Connolly brings her interpretation to the work, the subject is just a point of departure for the artwork -- a starting point for the experiment to begin. Whether it be exploring color, texture, scale or medium. Connolly is happy to paint and discover new techniques as she works. She works in a comfortable chaos and enjoys working on multiple works at a time. Inventing as she goes. Each work feeds the next. She has been influenced by American artwork especially a range of Southern American Folk Art; which she admires for its purity of expression.