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Artist Statement



I work in several different media; acrylic, ink, charcoal, pastel, mosaic, and ceramic.  My work is figurative and sometimes contains body parts while always including the hand.  The hand is an instrument of the advancement of the human race.  It represents our superiority over other creatures on earth.  The hand with its flexible fingers is used for grasping, direction, controlling, skill, assistance, help, influence, participation, conducting, giving, and providing support.

Hands are as descriptive of a person as is their face.  The gestures made by hands define one’s character and emotional state.  I approach my interest of the human body and human emotion through a study of hands.

I combine contemporary images with historical images of hands.  My mosaic piece “The Wall of Heroes,” contains hands inspired by historical images from eighteenth century Japanese prints to contemporary photography.  I also, sometimes work from models and other times from images of hands and bodies used in advertising.

I am fascinated by the details in human bodies and hands.  Light, shadow, and contrast make them almost abstract, especially in my charcoal drawings.  These images sometimes approach ambiguity and sensuality.

Creating with my hands gives me a zen-like experience while using my unconscious imagination through meditation.


Michelle Long

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