Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Yanity.
Hi Michelle, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
I am the owner/artist at Red Clover Studio Art in Gambrills, MD. I officially launched RCSA in March 2019. I have always been a lifelong artist focusing on creating art for myself, my family, and my friends. I have been an art educator for the past 21 years, teaching middle school, working with teachers, and now teaching elementary school.
It wasn’t until the sudden death of my youngest brother, Stevie, that I started making and sharing my art with others. Stevie passed away suddenly in May 2018 at the age of 28. When going through his belongings, I found a paper that he wrote in elementary school about “the most wonderful person in the world.” He wrote about me. He said, “I think my sister is the most wonderful person in the world because she is an Artist.” Those words have been infused into my soul and have created the burning passion behind my art and the need to share it with others.
This collection is meant to communicate feelings of whimsy, fun, happiness, and contentment from viewers. Each piece is a mixed media artwork (collage, painting, drawing), made on a wood panel with paper, gouache and/or acrylic, and oil pastel/crayon and/or pen. These mediums allow for the creation of multiple layers and textures which gives each piece its own uniqueness. Strong use of bright colors, space, distinctive patterns, simple shapes, and bold lines further add to each piece.
I hope viewers find my pieces fun and whimsical- they are meant to make one’s heart happy and one’s house pretty. Many are inspired by my childhood memories, vacations, and favorite things, including trips to the beach with my family, including my brother Stevie, who had a deep love of the ocean and water.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The biggest challenge for me is time. I work full-time as an art teacher and also have a 4-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter. Trying to balance making art (which in many ways is therapeutic for me) with the business side of it, also with my family, and a full-time job is tough!
Fortunately, my children love making art as much as I do and often will come up to my studio to work alongside me (even though they have their own separate studio!). They know when we make art together it is special. My husband is also very supportive, not only encouraging me along the way but also providing the time I need when I need it!
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My work is mixed media- a combination of collage, painting, and drawing. I’m known for my whimsical and fun scenes and subjects that are mostly Maryland themed and nautical. I also specialize in commissions – people’s houses and pets (but open to others as well). These are usually purchased by the commissioner as gifts for loved ones. My art is unique because of the mixed media process that I use as well as the bright colors and fun brought to each piece.
I am most proud of my Maryland scenic artwork because it really is a “hometown glory” for me! Something else unique about my work is that there is a price point for everyone (I’m very much of the Keith Haring philosophy that “Art is for everyone”), as well as fun items I print my work on, such as post-it notes, coasters, notebooks, calendars, and cards. So even if you don’t have wall space you can still enjoy my art.
We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you.
Last year, I had a bit of bad luck when setting up for a show. The wind was incredibly strong and as my husband and I were setting up we were questioning whether or not we should even be doing it in the wind. In the end, we decided to set it up and take it from there. The moment we got everything displayed, a huge gust of wind came and took out one wall.
We decided then and there it was too risky and decided to pack up. As we were scrambling to put everything away I had a freak accident, where I stepped on a clear lid, it slid, and my leg went out from under me. I ended up fracturing my hip and needing surgery to have 3 pins inserted to keep my hip from shattering. Needless to say, we upgraded my tent and display so the wind is no longer a factor- or a threat And fortunately, it has not deterred me from my passion for art making!
- Original Artworks – $70 to $265+
- Commissions – starting at $100 plus materials fee
- Giclee Prints- starting at $16
- Coasters – set of 4 for $22
- Cards and Post-its- $4 each or 3 for $10
- Website: https://www.redcloverstudioart.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/redcloverstudioart/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RedCloverStudioArt
- Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/RedCloverStudioArt