Michael Stickley

Each piece starts with a vague emotional or elemental intention—smooth and calm, or organic and dynamic—and sometimes a particular overall color (for example: this one should be blue!). As the initial layer is spread over the surface, I see and feel the structure being made in the moment, and let my instinctive assessment drive the response in the next motion until I feel each layer is settled.

There is an unexpected compatibility when looking to the Surrealists’ “Automatic Drawing”, where there is a method of mark-making in which the the direct, conscious control over the process is suppressed, allowing the more fundamental responses in the moment to have sway and drive the motion across the surface.

As this series grows, some pieces push to explore where my technique can be taken and others refine previous successes, while they all need to be layered and built up individually.

Every piece should entice the viewer to stand back and see the whole, then explore each area as you move closer, down to even the details beyond direct intention, where the smallest structures live.


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Michael Stickley

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Ambient Structure 80

Ambient Structure 87

Ambient Structure 90