Week 9: Artist Conversation with Michael Rollins

Art 110


On display in both sides of the Gatov Gallery this week, was the work of Michael Rollins. Michael’s work is extremely different and really interesting to see! And talking to Michael was even more interesting.

My very first question for Michael was how he decided the different aspects of each painting. When I asked this, I was referring to this painting right here:


In the middle of the painting, everything is very smooth. In other places, the paint gets thick and layered. My question to him was how he decided what went where and how it looked. His response was that it is very organic and reactionary and he really trusts his gut. The marks he makes are reactions to previous marks, and so on. His works can be very unpredictable. He told me that sometimes he’ll plan a piece out, make it, and then not like it. Or he’ll go backwards from the plan, and love it. He is never sure how it will go. He also told me that he is done with a piece when “him and the piece have come to some sort of agreement.”

Michael is very particular about the colors he uses, he NEVER uses black. Ever. In the painting that I had asked him about, he said he allowed grey because it still flowed with the colors he had already used. He chooses colors that catch the human’s eye, and he likes to go for a sic-fi feel. Sometimes, the colors he chooses will tie into colors of the world we live in.

Something I have in common with Michael is how we go about art. He told the group that he’ll work on and look at a piece, leave it and look at a white wall, and then come back to it.

When I draw or sketch, I never finish a piece in one sitting, I always do it in sections. And I’ll look at other things and then come back to my piece. I do this because it allows me to see what may be wrong with the piece, so to speak. It’s like doing a writing assignment, leaving it, and coming back to edit it later. It really helps in fixing it and catching mistakes.

Michael, your work was amazing! Thank you for allowing me to talk to you and admire your work.

More of Michael’s paintings from “New Digs”:

IMG_0787  IMG_0786


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