My name is Michelle Strbich. I was born and raised in Chicago by my Croatian-American immigrant parents who moved to the US for better opportunities. I was fortunate to attend and graduate from Loyola University of Chicago and Northern Illinois University.
Much of my artwork is influenced by the fascination with color that came out of two Near-Death Experiences (NDEs). My mother, my biggest encourager, introduced me to creativity. When I was born, we survived our first near-death experience. It was life-changing for us.
As a child, one of my favorite memories was watching my mom paint flowers in our garden. It was there I learned to see like an artist. From then on, I snuck my way into The Art Institute of Chicago vowing to fulfill my calling to be an artist.
In 2008, I survived my second near-death experience from a car accident. I experienced colors that I didn’t see before in the afterlife. When I returned to my body, I began to paint those colors with intention. This deepened my art practice.
In 2021, when my mother lost her battle to cancer, I found her presence in my studio with each completed piece. She continues to be one of my favorite muses.
When you buy one of my pieces, it’s like opening a door into an emotional experience that allows you to bring yourself into the piece.
I enjoy combining colors using acrylic paints with shapes and texture. I’m attracted to the large, bright and bold, and when they come together, they are like jigsaw pieces that find their way home to a complete puzzle. It is in spontaneity, self-determination, and movement that the layers of my paintings capture the story of emotions.
When I paint, I don’t have a plan; instead, I allow the colors and texture to speak to me, like messengers, working the canvas. My purpose is to create contemporary paintings to lift your spirit and beautify your spaces.
Today, I live in my beautiful sleepy beach town in Southern California painting one-of-a-kind originals.
Artist, Michelle Strbich
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