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We have been featuring a number of unique painters here on The Art Elephant lately, trying to cover as many different styles as possible. Other than the diverse set of street artists we have already featured, there are of course those who stick to more “traditional” media (such as paint on canvas).

There was Melissa McCracken who paints music because of her synesthesia, Adam Doyle who does gestural paintings, blind artist John Bramblitt, and one of our favs hyperrealist Zaria Forman, among countless others.

Our most recent discovery is Emilie Beadle, a painter who instead of brushes uses a palette knife to apply the paints she uses. “I use oil paint, applied in many layers with a palette knife,” she explains.

A quick online image search for “palette knife painting” will showcase a number of artists whose styles are quite similar, but still unique in their own way. What makes Emilie’s work different is how she applies the paint. “My work is semi-representational/impressionistic.  I arrange brightly colored squares in a precise way to create a specific scene.”

Definitely a mix of both abstract and real elements, her works get inspiration from everything around her. She says she grabs inspiration from nature. “The colors, seasons, changing of light, and the sheer beauty, it is easy to get lost in it,” she says.

As with many artists in all different forms, painting for Emilie is an outlet she uses to “escape from the chaos and negativity in the world.”

Beadle_Blue Abstract

Beadle_Blue Birches

Beadle_City Lights

Beadle_City Skyline

How did this painter get a start on her art form? It goes way back to when she was living on the island of Kauai, one of the oldest of Hawaii’s main islands. Being part of a lush tropical location, it wasn’t difficult for Emilie to get inspired by its many gorgeous landscapes.

“My initial training was from a local artist, Giorgio Naranjo, who introduced me to painting in palette knife style and also plein air (open air) painting,” she recalls. “Prior to my time in Kauai, I had always had an interest in art and I experimented with various mediums and styles, but it wasn’t until I was in Kauai that I really found something that I was drawn to. Now, back in my home state of Michigan I have been able to really develop my own style.”

Beadle_Forest Light


Beadle_Painted Lakeshore

Beadle_Sunflowers on Blue and Green

When asked of any interesting stories relating to her art, Emilie shared with us this little anecdote:

“I guess the most interesting story I have related to my art is how it began with my moving to Kauai. Here is a little more background about myself and about that.  I have always been highly interested in art and experimented with various mediums.  In high school I took sculpture and drawing/painting classes but I didn’t have a specific focus or medium that ‘spoke to me.’ I continued to do art sporadically.  After college, I moved to the island of Kauai where I taught in a very unique bilingual school.  A professional portrait artist from the church I was attending in Kauai was offering four group lessons in oil painting.  I was always especially drawn to oils, and I attended the classes.  I learned a lot and felt that it really strengthened my foundation.  Not long after this, I moved to a different small town on Kauai named Hanapepe.  Hanapepe is very small and rural, but it comes alive every Friday night for an art walk.  There are 16 galleries in town that all stay open late on those evenings.  I found ‘Giorgio’s Gallery.’  I was instantly drawn to his work and by the concept of working in palette knife, something I had never heard of before.  After two years on Kauai, I returned to my home state of Michigan.  From there, I was really able to take what I learned in Kauai and develop my own style. I have been honored to be a part of some really cool art initiatives back in Michigan, and it has all happened pretty quickly.  One of my paintings was selected to be reproduced and installed outdoors as part of a permanent public art program in Royal Oak, MI.  I was also a part of a public art program in Howell, MI where my painting was chosen as ‘People’s Choice’ and also 1st place for a 1-year public art display.  I also did some public art work for Romulus, MI and Michigan City, IN this past year.  Furthermore, I have been thrilled to have my work displayed in several great local galleries.  My work can be found in River’s Edge Gallery in Wyandotte, MI and The Northville Gallery, in Northville, MI.”

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Not bad for someone who had been looking for an art form that “spoke to her,” right? If you’re interested in checking out Emilie’s work in person, you’re in luck – there are a lot of events coming soon for this brilliantly talented painter:

  • She has a solo show at Beverly Shores Museum and Art Gallery, Beverly Shores, IN – her art will be on display from May 1, 2016 to June 4, 2016, but the opening reception is May 13th.
  • She has work available on an ongoing basis at River’s Edge Gallery in Wyandotte, MI and The Northville Gallery in Northville, MI.
  • She is also working on some public art commissions for the Novi Public Library and the Romulus Public Library (both located in Michigan).
  • If you’re from Michigan, you might even catch her on TV! She will be featured in an upcoming episode of “Detroit Performs,” a PBS/Detroit Public Television program about art and culture in Southeast Michigan.

If you’re in the area for any of the aforementioned events, swing by! You won’t regret it.

Beadle_Abstract Beach Sunrise

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Beadle_Icy Forest

For more information, visit Emilie’s website, like her Facebook page, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also view her art in these galleries: River’s Edge Gallery / Northville Gallery / Beverly Shores Art Gallery

All images and information c/o Emilie Beadle, used with permission.

Thanks for reading!

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