Tag Archives: Vermont Artist – Michaela Harlow

New Ideas, Projects, Commitments.

Fractured, 2019. 36″ x 48″, Oil & Aluminum Scrap Collage on Wood Panel.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been working on a couple of behind-the-scenes projects. Recently, I’ve begun sharing glimpses of my nearest and dearest on Instagram: large-scale, recycled, painted and collaged metalwork on panel. These pieces are sometimes difficult to photograph –mostly due to the reflective quality of aluminum– but this quality is one of my favorite aspects of the new work. My aluminum collage work is made from construction scrap and the process is labor-intensive and quite magical. 

In 2017, I applied for a grant to assist with financing this project, and although my proposal made it to the final round, in the end I did not receive funding. Applying for grants is a rewarding and educational exercise, but it is also a time-consuming process. I planned to follow through with the project anyway, and fund the work in other ways. Then, in December of 2017, my father passed away, and throughout the winter and spring of 2018, family responsibilities became my first priority. 

Although I continued to work —many of the pieces created during the winter/spring of 2018 are on exhibit through the end of June 2019— I had to shelve “Drawn from the River”, my grant proposal project. By the end of 2018, I felt ready to revive the project and returned with more determination than ever. I have worked with metal before, but never unwieldy scrap and never in combination with painting. Late last year, I started experimenting with layered painting on metal collage and did extensive research on compatible materials and methods. Then I jumped in and fell madly in love. To date, I have created 6 large-scale pieces using scrap aluminum on wood panel; collaged works which I then sand, paint, sand and finally paint again. I feel this has primed me for my next leap with pollution material (beer cans, etc), collected from stream beds and rivers.

So, where do I go from here? Not one to give up, I am currently researching a variety of ways to fund this important project. In meantime –alongside my regular studio work– I will continue experimenting with and expanding my collaged metalwork series.  

Spring Listening, 2019. 36″ x 48″, Oil & Aluminum Scrap Collage on Wood Panel.


Posted in River Series - Painted Metal Collage Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Rain at South Pond, Revisited

Michaela Harlow, Rain at South Pond, 2016, Oil and Graphite on Panel 32 x 32Rain at South Pond, 2016, Oil and Graphite on Wood Panel, 32″ x 32″

Late last summer and into early fall, I made a series of abstract pieces  —graphite, polychromos pencil and pastel on paper— from small field notes made on rainy days at a local pond. I’ve been working on large-scale paintings from that series of sketches, and finished this one up today.

I’ve missed working the square, with all of its quirky challenges. This makes me feel like cutting a few more panels.

Michaela Harlow work on Rain at South Pond Early start and early finish in the studio today. Last oil and graphite gestures on a many-layered piece

Posted in Oil on Panel Also tagged , , , , , , |

Field Notes & Sketchbook Pages

Michaela Harlow, Field Notes from the Sketchbook, Pastel and Graphite A trio of early morning sketches from my notebook (15″ x 12″ on handmade paper/click to enlarge)

As these late winter days grow longer and warmer, I find myself lingering out doors. I cherish early morning walks through the forest; watching the sky light up, all peach-pink-fuchsia between tree trunks along the ridge line.

I’m constantly sketching and making photos, but these days I rarely post pages from my notebook. Most of the time, I upload images to Instagram, Twitter or on my Facebook profile. App editing tools on my iPhone make it so much easier to crop and watermark images, but writing is still something I prefer to do on my laptop. I’m going to try to get better about sharing them here on the journal. We’ll see how long that resolution lasts once things get really busy!

Posted in Field Notes and Sketches, Studio Also tagged , , , , |


Michaela Harlow, Winterland, 2016, Oil and Graphite on Wood Panel 3 x 2 Winterland, 2016 – Oil and Graphite on 36″ x 24″ Wood Panel

Inspired by a week of shifting light, lines, ice jams and frost patterns on Green River.


Posted in Oil on Panel, Winter Paintings Also tagged , , , , , , |