Archive for the ‘canvas’ Category

New Painting – The Brain and Smoking, Part 2 [Secondhand Smoke]

March 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Hi Everyone,

The National Institutes of Health released a press release in May 2011 covering their findings on the impact of secondhand smoke on the brain. The article stated that those exposed to secondhand smoke suffer the same impact as those that do smoke. Being around secondhand smoke regularly could create behavioral patterns in the brain that promote smoking. You can read the press release here:

With that said, I’m pleased to share with you the follow up painting to
Brain and Smoking, Part 1

It Begins: The Brain and Secondhand Smoke  Part 2
20″ x 24″
Acrylic on stretched canvas

The smoke beginning to build in the brain represents the start of the brain establishing similar patterns with the brain of someone that smokes regularly. As referenced in the above article by the NIH, those that are about secondhand smoke can develop brain patterns that promote smoking.

This piece is the companion to  “Brain and Smoking, Part 1

By seeing the two paintings side-by-side, you can the areas that are highlighted in one profile but not the other. For “Brain and Smoking, Part 1” which is on the right, the white outline remains strong around the mouth which is the smoke fumes are mostly inhaled, in addition to the nose. For “It Begins: The Brain and Secondhand Smoke” the white outline is strong around the nose and not the mouth.

What also connects the works is the smoke. The smoke coming from the profile on the right is being inhaled by the profile painting on the left.

As usual, let me know your thoughts and I look forward to sharing my next brain painting with you!

Check out the others works that make up the brain series so far. The works address: being present, caffeine, memory, alcohol, sleep and music.


 Twitter [@artcoholic]

WIP Brain Painting No.5 on the Brain and Sleep


This post is to share with you in progress shots of the next painting in the Brain series focusing on the Brain and Sleep. I have plenty of research experience in this area as all of you. In case you didn’t know, we spend about a third of our life sleeping and it’s something we certainly cannot live without.

So what’s happening in our Brain when we dose off?
Well I’ll get into that when I post the finished painting (which will be soon). Until then here are some shots of the piece in progress. ENJOY!

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New Painting: First Aid

March 16, 2011 1 comment
(c) Michelle Hunter 2011
(you can click on the image for a larger view)

 First Aid
20″ x 20″
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Hello everyone….can I get you a drink? It’s on me 😉

I’m pleased to share with you my latest painting titled “First Aid”.

Want to see pictures of this painting from beginning to end? (7 new pictures added) Click here to view my previous blog post:

While some titles for paintings don’t come to me pretty easily, this one came into my head before I was done with painting the outline for the composition I scrapped.

Most of the time, getting a drink feels like putting on a band-aid on to help cover up whatever is going on. Whether you:

  • Had a long day and feel like you want to unwind,
  • Are dealing/coping with something personally,
  • Wanting to avoid something (emotionally or physically),
  • May feel out of place without a drink in your hand,
  • Want the courage to do something you wouldn’t typically do while sober
  • Feel free to add to this list based on your own experience

What’s a quicker fixer-upper than a drink?!
Having the setting for the painting within a bar seemed natural. I chose to use a shot glass instead of a regular glass because a shot gets straight to the point – nothing to sip or savor here. 
The label on the bottle was a clear place to put a red cross. 
As your liquor of choice is being poured into the glass, certain parts of the brain imprinted on the glass are becoming activated:
(c) Michelle Hunter 2011
(you can click on the image for a larger view)

  • Cerebral cortex: This is the outermost part of the brain where you process thoughts and where consciousness resides. When alcohol is introduces, it is here where processing of information from the senses like your eyes, ears, touch, etc become inhibited. Here is also where you become unable to think clearly and start to think more slowly.

  • Cerebellum (round part at the base of the brain): Here controls out center of movement and balance. Alcohol leaves us off balance and/or staggering.

  • Hypothalamus and pituitary: This region coordinates automatic brain functions and hormone release. As you drink, the nerve centers in the hypothalamus that control sexual arousal become pressed down and strained. So while your sexual urge may increase, your sexual performance declines.It’s a little hard to see but there are clutters of gender symbols in the shadow of the  glass.   

  • Medulla (lower part of the brain stem): The impact of alcohol on this area of the brain results in sleepiness, perhaps you feel a chill and/or notice your breathing slowing. The medulla controls such automatic functions like breathing, consciousness and body temperature.

Now my most difficult area for me of this painting was painting glass (the shot glass and bottle) especially since both are clear. That’s what delayed me the most because I didn’t want to mess it up. Through some help from Twitter, and me getting out of my head, it only took me a couple of days to finish the piece. I’m very proud of it. 

So,with all that said, CHEERS!


Work In Progress Shots of "First Aid" 20" x 20" Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

March 4, 2011 1 comment

Hi there!

OK I’ve been taking WAY TOO LONG to finish what will be the fourth installment of my BRAIN series. Excuses I care to share include laziness and mind driven fear of painting an image of glass (though skillfully I knew I could) which then lead to procrastination.

FINALLY, I’ve gotten out of my head and in front of my easel to bring you 6 progress shots of “First Aid”. Click on the images to get a larger view.

Details/reasoning into the composition will be included in a blog post when the piece is finished. In the meantime, feel free to speculate and share your feedback….you know how to reach me.


WIP shot #1 “First Aid” (c) 2011 Michelle Hunter
WIP shot #2 “First Aid” (c) 2011 Michelle Hunter
WIP shot #3 “First Aid” (c) 2011 Michelle Hunter
WIP shot #4 “First Aid” (c) 2011 Michelle Hunter
WIP shot #5 “First Aid” (c) 2011 Michelle Hunter
WIP shot #6 “First Aid” (c) 2011 Michelle Hunter
WIP shot #7 “First Aid” (c) 2011 Michelle Hunter
WIP shot #8 “First Aid” (c) 2011 Michelle Hunter
WIP shot #9 “First Aid” (c) 2011 Michelle Hunter
WIP shot #10 “First Aid” (c) 2011 Michelle Hunter
WIP shot #11 “First Aid” (c) 2011 Michelle Hunter
WIP shot #12 “First Aid” (c) 2011 Michelle Hunter

New Painting: Moon Eye [tentative title]

December 28, 2010 Leave a comment
Moon Eye
12” x 48”
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
Greetings to you!

I’m happy to share with you my latest completed painting which is yet to be officially named. It was started back in early/mid 2009 and was set aside for quite some time with a few other paintings that are unfinished. 

Now, I love sharing the back story of my paintings with you, however for this one, I can’t really remember what sparked the idea [click here for a little more insight into my memory]. At the time, I was working on pieces that were all different from one another so this is the only painting I’ve done in this style.

I Did It Because I Wanted To Do It
Though I don’t remember what it was inspired by, I can tell you how it was done. I took a picture of myself with a fan covering half of my face. The fan was what I had used as part of my Geisha costume for Halloween back in 2007. I liked the picture but I wanted it to be different but using some bright colors as if it was a negative of a picture. With a little GIMP magic, I altered the original photo by introducing some blues and greens.

Full Moons
Doing that also created an option for what to do with my eye. I originally thought I would paint my eye as is but quickly realized that the negative of something black/dark brown is something very light. Then what came to mind was the moon. There are evenings of the full moon when it is incredibly bright in the dark night sky. So why know paint my eye as the moon!

I tucked my other eye away behind the shadow of the fan. With all that, here is a really cool painting (in my biased opinion :-)) 

If you want to, you are more than welcome to let me know your thoughts on it (!

Until the next painting announcement, I wish you all the best and a Happy and Joyful New Year!!!

Best regards,

Special shoutout to Mr. Chuck Lau for taking photos of my latest completed works! Check out his photography portfolio by visiting

New Painting: "Don’t You Remember?"

December 9, 2010 1 comment
Do You Remember?
39” x 16”
Acrylic and Wire on Stretched Canvas

With this third painting in my Brain series, I explore memory.

How’s your memory?

I know mine isn’t as sharp as I would like it to be. Sometimes I remember something with little effort yet most of the time, it takes several links being connected for a memory to come back. There are times as well when I wouldn’t recall something at all. I know at least that I have plenty of company when it comes to such things.

Trying to concentrate on the task at hand.
The composition for this painting came together fairly quickly. Minimal colors or distractions. Painting the brain as wire and including my hands were always in the original idea. Hanging the brain from a wire freed up my hands to work on connecting remaining wires.

Sometimes recalling one instance can lead to similar memories surfacing.
I’ve represented the brain using wire. Real wire is actually incorporated into the piece as well. The twisted wire is attached from the top of the canvas and ends at the top of the brain. I chose to represent the brain with wire because I feel that connections need to be made for a memory to surface. Showing that wires are linked or bonded together is done by painting 2 or more wires twisted together throughout the brain structure.

Friends give clues, I try to make the connection

You’ll see that there are parts of the wire that are not connected. I chose to include my hands trying to connect those wires. This is how I’m representing the effort it takes for me to recall some things. Places, dates, people are some clues that help remind me of something that happened.

There is a reason the wires are disconnected at the bottom part of the brain: Temporal Lobe

The temporal lobe, houses the part of the brain that controls memory called hippocampus. It happens to be located in the southern hemisphere of the brain. Therefore that seems like an appropriate area to have the wires disconnected. Of course my paintings are not trying to be anatomically accurate but it’s interesting to learn more about how the brain works during the progression of this series.

As usual, here are some in progress shots (may take a minute to load) or click here if it doesn’t (

Brain series (so far):
Painting 1: Past, Present, Future or Dreaming

Painting 2: Caffeine Headache

Work in progress post: (wired brain) #3 in the Brain series

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Hello ladies and gentlemen,

While I continue to work towards completing at least one painting a month, I wanted to keep you posted on what I’ve been up to on a fairly regular basis. 

Here are a couple of in progress pics of my latest painting (title to be determined):

The third painting in my Brain series involves a brain that is both made from and hanging from wire. Through a good friends suggestion, real wire will be incorporated into the piece. It will at least be what the brain is hanging from. An idea for how it would be attached to the canvas was found while visiting artist studios in hoboken recently. It will be a cool addition to the piece (thanks Kathleen for the idea). 

The hands in the painting are my own. I haven’t decided what my sleeves will be. The sketch on canvas of my hands were done on casting a shadow over the canvas, so my right hand sketched the sillouhette of my left hand and my left hand managed to sketch my right hand. Adjusting the distance between my hand and the canvas was an easy way to get the hands the size i wanted them to be in the painting. At some point I’ll take a picture of my hands in those positions so I can paint the detail when the time comes.

Explanation of why the brain is made of wire will be included in my post once the painting is completed (aiming for the end of this month). Stay turned and thank you for our interest in my work- I greatly appreciate it!


Brain series (so far):
Painting 1: Past, Present, Future or Dreaming

Painting 2: Caffeine Headache