About The Artist
Michelle Katz was born in New York at the time of the Abstract Expressionist movement. As a high school art major she was exposed to New York's major museums and art galleries.
In 1975 she studied drama and art at the State University of New York at New Paltz. The beauty of that
upstate region with its farms, orchards, lakes and mountains inspired creativity in every season.
Having been raised in a secular traditional Jewish home, Michelle while in her 20's, felt compelled to do some soul searching to ascertain what Jewish heritage meant to her. Instinctively she traveled to Israel in 1979 for her first visit. That Israel experience would change the course of her life.
Painting in oils and watercolors continued to be her passion. Returning to the USA in the early 1980's, Michelle left NYC and spent time in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There she befriended other artists attending drawing and photography classes in the Eli Levin Studio.
Drawn to this area of the US by its unique quality of light, desert landscapes, people and vibrant cultural life, she considered settling down there; but Jerusalem was beckoning.
In 1989 Michelle married Yehudah in Los Angeles, California. In 1993 Michelle, her husband and their 2 small children made Aliya settling first in the Jerusalem corridor. 4 more children were born to the Katz family in the following 7 years.
The years of childbearing were creative in more ways than one. The family was living on a moshav on the crest of a mountain surrounded by the green forested Judean Hills. The scenery was breathtaking. Michelle made time to focus on her painting.
From the verdure of the forest the family moved to their
home in the desert In 2010 they built themselves a home in the artist colony neighborhood of Tekoa, Gush Etzion, overlooking the Herodion Winter Palace, the Khureitun Wadi and the majestic hills leading to the Dead Sea.The light and tranquility of the area attracts artists from all over the world who draw from the ancient well of inspiration and hope.
Michelle has been influenced by Abstract Expressionism-, which convey universal themes about creation, life, struggle, and the human condition. These themes have taken on a considerable relevance since World War II and the birth of the State of Israel.
Michelle Katz draws inspiration from the images, Jewish festivals, symbolism, landscapes and holy light of Israel. Believing that we are so close to the final redemption, she aims to convey parts of the Jewish story and the hope for the entire world in her work.
Michelle oftentimes approaches her canvas without a preconceived idea. A painting might begin with a color, a thought, an intuition, an emotion, a concept or visualization from the weekly Torah portion, a Jewish holiday or the current Hebrew month, or the beauty and mystery of nature….any of the above can surface to the conscious mind while putting pigment to fresh canvas.
"The only rule is that there are no rules. Anything is possible. It's all about risks, deliberate risks."
"Art has a will of its own. It has nothing to do with the taste of the moment or what's expected of you. Every canvas is a journey all its own. "
Helen Frankenthaler (1928 -2011)