For artist Michele Poirier Mozzone, the window of opportunity to capture sun-filled pool photos here in New England is limited. Having models at the ready when the weather cooperates can also be challenging. She takes videos from her GoPro camera when she has models, sunlight, and a warm summer day. From them, she can select images that have the potential to be paintings and manipulate them to her liking on the Procreate app.
“My work begins with many conscious decisions in hopes of achieving a plan – a composition, a mood, an idea, a palette, a perspective that makes an interesting, successful painting,” shares Mozzone. “If I have done a good job with preparation, the painting portion is often free-flowing, where I am in a zone free of constraints and open to exploration within the parameters of my original plan.”
Her studio is a light-filled converted bedroom in her home. Afternoon in the studio is her productive time. However, she has been known to head to the studio in her pajamas with a cup of coffee in the morning and not emerge until after five o’clock – still wearing pajamas and completely satisfied after a full, productive day. Time passes quickly while painting.
“I am grateful that this subject matter, which I have been exploring for the past twelve years, also resonates with many people,” she shares. “It has been immensely gratifying to get feedback from someone who sees themself as a child and relives happy summer memories through my work.”
People have expressed their love of the water, their passion for swimming, or their children’s likeness has drawn them to Mozzone’s paintings. It feeds an artist’s soul to get this feedback, and it probably has kept her on this series when she might have otherwise drifted to something else.
“Thankfully, I have not tired of exploring variations on this theme. I have introduced new elements over time, such as drapery, flowers, and stencils,” explains Mozzone. “When creating a new painting begins to feel like a formula for what has been successful, it is time to try something new.”
When her painting practice starts to feel stale, the work reflects this. So, she keeps evolving within this series to remain excited about the next painting. Beyond the apparent concepts of capturing the transient nature of water, its transformative effects, and the simplicity of summer fun and freedom, other internal themes have repeated throughout this series, depending on the painting.
“Body image, relationships, female empowerment, moments of meditation and renewal, self-reflection, and finding inner peace are all internal themes I reach for,” says Mozzone.
Mozzone’s show opened on Saturday, August 19, at Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk, ending on September 6. We are open every day at 10 AM. All are welcome.