Michelle Darvis painted every day last year, and the resulting collection of images constitutes a visual diary of a very eventful period in her life. But one painting stands out.
“It will be very hard for me to part with this collection at the end of 2015; it records my last year in my 20s, my wedding, and name change,” says Darvis. “I was married August 31 of this year, and it is a challenge to paint up to and on your wedding day! I was also summoned for jury duty, underwent root canals, and faced temperatures of -15 (with a wind chill factor of -45) up to 98 degrees.
On Day 300 of Darvis’ year, she painted the Cleveland Museum of Art.
“Day No. 362, Little Bookstore,” by Michelle Darvis, 2014
“But one piece stands out. I was painting an abandoned farmhouse on a bitterly cold and snowy day. I headed to my car to warm up, and I turned around to check on my easel just in time to see it blow face-first in the snow. The painting had more than an inch of snow packed on it. The sun was setting and I didn’t have time to dry the canvas off, so I called it a day. When the painting dried, the snow left behind a beautiful and delicate texture on the painting. To this day it is one of my favorite paintings.”
Painting Playhouse Square in Downtown Cleveland on Day 350
All 365 paintings Darvis completed over 2014 will be on display at Hudson Fine Art and Framing Co. in Hudson, Ohio, through January 31. On January 22, Darvis will give a talk at the gallery titled “An Artist Talk, My Year in Plein Air: Why I Painted on My Wedding Day.”
On Day 278, Darvis painted the zinnias she and her husband grew for their wedding.
“Day No. 122, Strip Shop,” by Michelle Darvis, 2014
“It is not just a collection of paintings, it is a piece of my life,” says Darvis. “These works are a time capsule of this part of history. It is as close to living works of art as you can get.”