Michele Benzamin-Miki’s art is inspired by a life time of transformative work with students and clients as a mentor, in meditation, hypnosis, martial arts, neuro-linguistics and skills in mindset; this spiritually integrative work informs and becomes a strong part of her art.
The brush work comes out of a ‘point zero’ inner stillness, or expansive awareness from meditating before or while producing a piece. Benzamin-Miki wants to make visible this inner world. The intention is to invite the viewer to access a ‘whole body state of being present,’ in the presence of, the art.
The work usually starts abstract, expressive and instantaneous with energetic strokes using large brushes on paper or canvas in paint or sumi ink; sometimes Benzamin-Miki comes back into a piece adding detailed drawing in pencil or other mediums. The artist likes to integrate figurative work into these energetic lines, and sometimes will take the figurative form and add the Brush stroke(s) in afterwards.
Much of the artist’s work comes out of her dreams. Several vivid dreams, from 10 to 15 years ago, continue to inspire her work. One such dream showed her the very paintings I would be producing way in the future: this dream has been the source of her work over the last four years.
Benzamin-Miki’s art creates an intersection between East and West, Realism and Abstraction, her Japanese and American heritage. Benzamin-Miki is Co-founder of ‘Five Changes’ and Manzanita Village Retreat Center in Warner Springs, in San Diego County, California, where her studio is located.