Archive for the ‘series’ Category

New Brain Painting: Brain Rhythm | 24"x24" | Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

October 4, 2011 Leave a comment
It’s DONE!!! Finally!!!!
I’m very happy to introduce you to the 6th painting in my Brain Series.
(c) Michelle Hunter 2011

Brain Rhythm
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

This painting came a long way. Things were smooth sailing until I hit the part with the grill. Did not anticipate having to make soooooooo many circles and how long that process was going to take. Let me first take a couple of steps back.

In the Beginning….
The concept, in general, was to paint what parts of the brain are most active when it comes to music. While doing further research, I learned that different parts of the brain become active when doing different musical activities: listening, playing (instrument) and reading.
An object that brought those components together for me was the speaker. What’s music without being able to hear it? Also sheet music is the way to capture the details of a piece so it’s able to be recreated. A speaker and sheet music, along with the brain, were the pieces I wanted to put together in a way that felt right. Given how a speaker is made of layers, having the brain at the center surrounded by wavy sheet music underneath a grill/mesh became the composition.
(c) Michelle Hunter 2011

Brain Rhythm [Detail]

The Brain and Music

The concept in general was to paint what parts of the brain are most active when it comes to music.There are areas both in the outer cortex and inner brain that are connected to our experience of music. For this painting, I focused on the outer area:

Prefrontal Cortex (yellow): When you are listening to music, ever have an experience where something didn’t “sound right”? Perhaps you feel that a beat was missed.

After a few bars of music, you begin expecting a certain pattern to repeat correct?  Thank your prefrontal cortex’s ability to sense when something is off.

Motor Cortex (green): Here controls when you are tapping your foot and bopping your head. It’s an especially important area of the brain if you are a musician as you need the ability to control time movements.

Sensory Cortex (purple): Which string to strum on a guitar, keys on a piano, maneuvering a violin etc requires an acute sense of touch.

Auditory Cortex (blue): This area of the brain becomes alive when we hear music. It holds information pertaining to pitch and tones.

Visual Cortex (pink): Involving sight when reading music and watching performers. If you are like me and are not a musician but catch yourself imagining yourself on stage, the visual cortex helps get your imagination flowing.

Tell me what you think…don’t be shy 🙂

Michelle Hunter
Hunterart Line: 646-504-5034
Twitter: Artcoholic


New Painting: Nap time!!


(c) Michelle Hunter 2011
(you can click on the image for a larger view)
Zzzzzzz (Sleep)
20″ x 20″
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Now if you know anything about me, other than I’m an artist, you would know that I LOVE sleep. Sleep is awesome and one of the best things in the world. So doing a painting on the brain and sleep was particularily interesting to me.

The Concept
We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping,so this is a topic we all can relate to. Sleep not only feels good for its relaxing nature but it is crucial for brain development and dealing with what we encountered while awake.

Detail: Zzzzzzz (Sleep)
(c) Michelle Hunter 2011

Hippocampus (yellow) – Stores our short term memory. So when we sleep, that information is transfered into our cortex which holds long term memory.

Prefrontal cortex (front of the brain) – Ever been awake for too long? Brain feels heavy and screaming for sleep? If you pay it a little attention, that screaming may feel concentrated at the front of the brain. The prefrontal cortex is sensitive to sleep deprivation. It is also highly active while dreaming.

Thalamus (middle of green) – In order for our brain to proceed processing information taken in during the day, the brain needs to shut off outside stimuli. That happens thanks to thalamus. If someone doesn’t respond to what you may say or do to them while they are asleep, they are busy processing…so stop bothering them.

Pineal gland (back middle of green area) – produces melatonin. When produced, we get sleepy. Light reduces the production of melatonin so if you’re trying to fall asleep but a light is on or TV, good luck.

Hypothalamus (front middle of green) – is what naturally signals us for when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up.

Brainstem (bottom of green) – those wakey wakey signals from the hypothalamus travel through the brainstem to the rest of our body to get us moving (and in some cases, we may just move into another position to fall back asleep).

The Colors
Well I took a picture of my bed with the lights out so I can try to get a sense of how the pillows and sheets looked in the dark. I put some free weights on the pillow to see how impressions were made as if ones head was laying on the pillow. That resulted in most of the painting being blacks and blues.

Since the focus of the painting is the brain I decided to have the brain fairly ‘bright’ since it’s still very active while all else is calm. The colors used, orange, green, yellow, red were a nice complement to the blacks and blues used for the rest of the painting.

No Face! WHY?
Well of course the painting isn’t about the face; we all sleep so it doesn’t matter who the is person that’s in bed. No need to try to guess who it would be, who they may remind you of or try to critique their face. So, no face. Yet I wanted to show that it is human being in bed, so I show some shoulders and the neck which then fades to the pillow s/he/it is resting on. It then resumes at the brain.

Check out pictures of this painting while it was forming by visiting this blog post:

ALL feedback is welcome, there are tons of ways to reach me. Also feel free to share this with others you feel would want to see it.
Thanks for reading!! Until next time….
Hunterart Line: 646-504-5034
Twitter: Artcoholic
GTalk: mkh9781 or uniqueh


Brain series (so far):
Painting 1: Past, Present, Future or Dreaming
Painting 2: Caffeine Headache
Painting 3: Don’t You Remember?
Painting 4: First Aid

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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Zodiac Series: Aries, Cancer, Virgo

August 15, 2008 1 comment
Hi Readers,

I want to share with you a few completed pieces from a Zodiac series I’m working on. Since it is based on the Zodiac there will be 12 paintings in all in this series. Below are 3 that are completed so far.

I’ll write more about these and the other individual paintings in another post. For now, I’ll share why I’m working with the constellations instead of the usual symbols we usually see. It stems back to a piece I saw at PS1 a year or 2 ago. It was huge (I didn’t take down the name of the artist or title of the piece). It looked like outerspace but not of a specific planet of galaxy but a whole lot of stars. I was inspired to do something similar and I wanted to do a series of them so Zodiac constellations came to mind. Viewers may be less familiar with that the constellation of their sign is so here is an opportunity for us to see how the symbols we are familiar with came about. As for the setting I’ve placed these constellations, I wanted to combine their place in the sky with our everyday lives-coffee or tea, looking in the mirror, soda cans, etc.

What are the next signs to be done? There is really no order to what sign will be finished next but do I have an idea for Gemini and a composition for a sign I’ve yet to decide on. Stay tuned and please tell me what you think. Look forward to hearing from you!

Remember, I’m currently showing work at Cosi’s on 44th street and 3rd Avenue in New York. Swing on by, bring/tell a friend and check it out!

March 21 to April 20
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
20” x 20”

June 22 to July 22
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
20” x 20”

August 23, 24 to September 22, 23
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
20” x 20”