Michelle Teear was born in Sydney in 1984. She was awarded a Bachelor Fine Arts from the University of New South Wales in 2005. She is represented by Straightjacket, with her fourth solo show coming in May 2024. She is a contemporary painter working in egg tempera using classical paint making techniques. Her practice is researched based, regularly travelling, and living in remote regions as an immersive experience. During her travels she conducts en plein air studies and sources found natural pigments from which to make natural paint.
Her works draw from a deep desire to connect with the natural landscape. To Michelle the landscape presents a way of gaining perspective on ourselves whilst celebrating it’s sublime nature:
‘I'm interested in finding spaces where we can engage with our human scale. To feel vulnerable in the context of time, the charge of the landscape and our own inadequacies. To engage with a sense of my own mortality in contrast to the enduring nature of the landscape.' – Michelle Teear
A meditative relationship with her medium is key to her practice, as each day in the studio starts with mixing paint from scratch. Michelle makes her own egg tempera, oil paint and mediums, using the techniques of the old masters. The process of mixing paint allows her to focus on the quality of paint and colour in it’s own right, outside the process of painting. She explores the possibility for energetic mark making with these paints. She allows the thin applications of egg tempera to splash or drip down the board. Layers of thin paint are built up to reflect a depth of colour.
Michelle recently completed a mentorship with senior Australian artist Virginia Cuppaidge, as part of the Newcastle Art Space Mentorship Program. Her work was shortlisted for the Evelyn Chapman award in 2020, and the Newcastle Club Foundation Prize 2022. She recently completed a residency at the property of Arthur Boyd, Bundanon Trust. She is currently a participant of the Front and Centre Program 2023, run by Accessible Arts.
Represented by Straitjacket Newcastle, NSW.
Michelle lives and works in Newcastle, Australia.