The textural, nuanced scenes of brightly colored, frolicking creatures look collaged out of paper or brushed onto canvas, but in actuality, Michèle Brown paints with pixels on an iPad. A former art teacher and typography-trained artist who worked in fine art for most of her adult career, Brown was forced to pivot her professional and artistic goals due to an unexpected change in her health.
“I had to stop working because of a long-term illness,” Brown tells Creators, “which only allows me to be out of bed for about five hours a day. When the iPhone came out, I started playing and drawing on it while I was bed bound, and really got into it when the iPad first came out. I have tried all sorts of styles with it, but it really seems to suit my illustrative and imaginative side.”
Brown’s scenes evoke children’s book visuals are defined by an earth-toned texture and warmth. Her individual artworks often include imagery of wide-eyed animals that slice together large swaths of color, coming together in a scene that mimics a paper mâché or acrylic piece, but in reality, is a work of tablet and iPhone artistry. Brown’s fine art offerings are similarly immersive. Less amiable and imbued with their own unique texture, the artist’s fine art works possess a different lexicon of shape and form. Based in Cornwall, the British artist grew up both in France and the UK and has honed her bilingual skills and understanding of both cultures.
“I’ve created an imaginary world which I call Spottyland because of one of the first characters to come out of it, Spotty the fox. Nothing awful happens in Spottyland; the animals can be a bit naughty, but they are all vegetarian and underneath they have hearts of gold. Humor is a big part of what I do. I’ve been influenced by cartoon strips and dreadful puns, but only if it is kind. I like to make people smile and bring a bit of lightly mischievous harmony to the world. It is a place of safe retreat in an increasingly uncertain world.”