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Michelle Doll: Couples


These paintings are meditations for me to be present with the positive aspects of love and connection. The work is about real people who share honest feelings of connection, and it is work that feels deeply meaningful to me. To that end, I paint people I personally know, who feel intimate love and true connection with each other. Each couple reveals their own expressions and personal sentiments of relating to another as a result feelings of vulnerability and intimacy are experienced in those moments. 


The current series is work from two couples that share a beautiful bond. I personally relate from a female point of view so for me, typically the male plays a supporting role in the feminine experience. The couples revel in their intimate experience.

Couple (JAL1) Oil on Canvas 72 x 48 inches 2016

Couple (JAL1)
Oil on Canvas
72 x 48 inches


I start the painting with a warm magenta and orange imprimatura. The initial warm ground provides a heated pulse for me to energetically and conceptually respond. When I start painting, I ask, how does this feel and what is the importance of the moment? I allow my intuition to focus on a certain area and work in a very direct method of building up the paint. I want areas to feel a definite presence and importance while other areas of the piece act as a supporting role. (For instance: The backgrounds are voids, serving as compositional elements to drive the viewers attention to the importance of the moment.) I constantly think of how a person experiences a moment. You can feel the weight and breath in one area but experience the feeling of the whole. There’s a moment of importance within the piece but the composition is dependent on the whole. 


Michelle Doll’s paintings capture quiet, intimate moments hinged on personal connections between her subjects, as well as their interactions with the world around them. Doll’s recent works are imbued with femininity and introspection, and explore the themes of love, desire and connection. She earned her BFA from Kent State University and MFA from New York Academy of Art where she graduated Cum Laude on both. Her work has been exhibited and featured worldwide at galleries in New York, St. Barth’s, San Francisco, Chicago, Basel, London and Olso. She is represented by Lyons Wier Gallery in New York City and Galleri Ramfjord in Oslo, Norway. Michelle currently lives and works in Hoboken, NJ.

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