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Michelle Manriquez

For me, art is all about feeling and experiencing, not about producing the perfect painting. I look at the blank white paper and in my mind's eye; it comes alive with strong, bold colors. I search for beauty in color. There is a joy in the process of holding the brush, the rush of putting your first drop of paint on a new piece of paper using drips and splatters to create something completely me.

Engrossed in the rhythm of the brush and the colors of the paint, my picture emerges. Art is a way to express the feelings from my innermost self, when the medium of language fails me.

I worked as an RN for 15 years and loved what I did. I was very left brained and enjoyed math and writing. I did not have any interest in painting. At 40 years old, I had a massive debilitating stroke. I was not able to speak, walk or use my right hand (but since I am left handed, it wasn't as bad as it could have been). I was no longer able to work or do my normal hobbies, like counted cross stitch and crocheting (because both required two hands and ability to count).

Over the next few years I recovered thanks to family, rehabilitation and hard work and if you see me now, you would think I am mostly "normal". When I was in rehabilitation, my recreational therapist gave me a piece of wood, a picture and told me to paint. I discovered that I was still able to make something beautiful, just in a different way than I was used to. I was drawn to watercolor. So, with little artistic talent, I began start an affair with watercolor that I hope will never end.

I have had watercolor classes with amazing artists such as Don Andrews, Feeling Lin, Carl Purcel, David Loenberg, and Richard Stephens. I have won multiple Best of Shows in local shows, I have gotten to do a One Woman Show in Mequite, participated in the Georgia National Watercolor show in 2015 and the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s 37th Annual International Juried Exhibition in 2016.

I now live in UT with my husband, our 4 dogs, 2 birds, and a multitude of chickens. I also have 2 wonderful daughters and 7 amazing grandchildren.

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Dixie Watercolor Society

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