My process is simple: I need music, light and time. Those are the ingredients. With those three things, I dive in and start to speak about whatever is in my heart and mind.
Just like any other conversation – I never know the outcome until it happens. I say yes and open the door. I say one thing, the paint and form and color say another. I respond. And in turn, the painting answers.
The process ends when I feel a click in my body, mind and heart. All the elements come together in moment that feels like magic. Sometimes, this takes years. Sometimes it takes moments.
Each painting is a relic of a conversation. A visceral conversation that begins in my studio and continues on wherever it lands. I light a tiny spark knowing that that it will burn on, into the world without me. What happens after it leaves my studio is as much a part of the process as what happens while it is in my care.
I make paintings I want to experience. It's not about what I want to see. It's about what I want to experience. Each time, it feels radically new.
I use the act of painting to go places that are unseen, and previously uninhabited, inside myself. The paintings left behind are relics of the experience of diving in and letting the conversation go where it will. Conversations that continue over decades and lifetimes, and hopefully sometimes generations in other people's families and homes.
Generally, what interests me and pulls me into the conversation in the first place, is a random and accidental mark that suddenly feels "beautiful" to me. If it is un-selfconscious and truthful, it is beautiful to me.
My paintings start from a commitment I made to myself a long time ago, when I was a little girl, to honor the parts of myself that are invisible to others, and invisible even to myself sometimes, until I say yes and open the door. The parts of each of us, that live quietly unseen and mostly unspoken. The poems in each of us. I’ve always known they are there, for each of us. Unreachable for me, except through art.
Emilie Mitcham was born in Boulder but spent most of her childhood in rural Kentucky. Growing up in a hippie commune, with all the freedom that implies, she knew she was a painter by the time she was four years old. She began to paint seriously in 1985 when she attended a summer-long program at Parsons School of Design in NYC. She received a BFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1998. At the Art Institute, she studied with Pegan Brooke, Pat Klein, Bruce McGaw, Mark van Proyen and Carlos Villa.
She was the recipient of the Golden Artists Color Award in painting the year she graduated. She currently resides in Mountain View, Colorado.
Emilie has previously been represented in Denver by Space Gallery, in Wheat Ridge, Colorado by Teller Street Gallery & Studios, and in San Francisco by Campfire Gallery in the Mission. Her work has been exhibited at St. John's University, Rizzoli Gallery in San Francisco, and Kevin Saehlinou Art Gallery in Denver. She is currently self-represented.
Emilie is the mother of four boys. She is also a writer, and a mediator. You can connect with her through this website or via Facebook.