PUBLISHED: 11:15 AM on Wednesday, March 2, 2005
Lands of the hot sun inspire Juneau artist Michelle Morrell
" 'Year of the Rooster' is my birth year and name of my latest etching", says Michelle Morrell, watercolorist and printmaker, and the featured artist for March First Friday at Juneau Artists Gallery. She will introduce this piece, timely for Chinese New Year, and be there to explain the multiple media of intaglio and china-colle' techniques she uses.

"The composition consists of "2 roosters chasing each other around in a Yin Yang circle with a china-colle' yellow sun", she says. "I'm a Gemini too, so it is even more related".

She will also introduce a series of watercolors, works done under the yellow sun, inspired by her travels to Mexico in February. These will continue her themes, reflecting her interest in water, animals and people. She took many photos to work from further in her Juneau studio. She states that she got special inspiration from her visit to Isla Mujeres, "The Island of Women".

"Pirates landed there to discover only women attending the shrine for the Mayan goddess of fertility." Morrell states. She enjoyed seeing the ruins and "the water is still crystal clear". Michelle stated that for her art she "likes to paint what moves her spirit not necessarily what might sell."

Morrell grew up in Washington State and attended UW majoring in literature. She taught school briefly before moving to Alaska with her husband, then a Forest Service employee. In 1981, Michelle began studying printmaking in Ketchikan, with well-known artist Ray Troll. After moving to Sitka, she continued her art studies with classes from master wood engraver, Dale DeArmound. After 15 years in Sitka for 15 years, she had 2 One-Woman Shows for her printmaking and new media, watercolors. Michelle is now a Juneau resident and recently had a show at Juneau Arts and Humanities Council Gallery. She has added ceramics to her mastery of media after attending UAS classes.

Her ceramics and other work can be seen on her website: