This month we've asked Michael Spencer to be our Artist of the Month. Michael has discovered new ways of applying paint due to his MS. He uses the stipple method for accurate lines, laying paint anywhere and everywhere, sometimes dribbling paint where he wants it to go. Sometimes he cannot deliver the paint to its intended destination, and it is out of these methods that wonderful things come. We’ve asked Michael a couple of questions about his work.
When and how did your interest in art develop?
As a child I could see that a painters' eye can be placed in any painting he wishes to paint.
What influences your art?
The influence comes from the placing of the paint into unusual areas and the managing of that paint until unusual but accurate feelings emerge. I will paint anything that attracts me to it.
What process do you go through when you are creating a piece (starting with the initial idea)?
I extract my own feeling for the picture and then try to represent that feeling in the finished painting. I often have an image in my head of what I want the final piece to look like, and then I copy my thoughts and change them as necessary. I therefore find it difficult to finish a painting and often overdo it.
Which artists, if any, have you drawn inspiration from?
The Pre-Raphaelites have given me a wonderful use of colour, feeling and a love of painting.
Do you have a favourite piece? If so, which one and why?
I have no favourite. I gain so much from my painting and from many others. I do not think one can learn from others. One just has to want to paint, disabled or not, it really does not matter. In fact, disability can sometimes mean an improvement.
What do you hope the viewer gets from your work?
I hope the viewer obtains new sights and insights from my painting.
What has been the highlight of your artistic career?
Just placing colour and mixing, that's all – and selling a few of my paintings.
Has being a part of Outside In been beneficial for you? If so, how?
Yes, it has been fabulous in that it has enabled me to have a Gallery and I can see where small improvements have been made over the years.
What is next for you as an artist?
To keep on painting and sell as many as I can.
Image: Michael Spencer, St John's Hagley