Ethereal Ink Paintings by Michelle Blade

A photo of mural art in the interior of the Facebook HQ buildingMural commission for Facebook HQ in Meno Park, CA

Michelle Blade’s beautiful, ethereal ink paintings create bizarre and dream-like worlds, with colors that are reminiscent of light reflected through a prism, or of oil slicks on still water. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Blade has exhibited throughout the U.S. and internationally.

An abstracted painting of foliage in dark colorsSovereign, acrylic  ink on canvas

I’m really enjoying the layered appearance of Blade’s ink paintings, particularly in the way the artist tends to use a dark shade balanced with a lighter tint, creating bright, shimmering figures that constantly fight with deep murky backgrounds. Human figures and foliage are common motifs in the works, and while they use figurative forms, it would often seem just as suitable to call these abstract works.


Blade frequently paints on both paper and canvas substrates, letting the texture of either surface work with the delicate medium of ink. In many cases the silhouetted figures that appear in her images are filled in with pattern and color rather than any realistic detail. In combination with swirling, colorful backgrounds, the figures give each work the impression of a fragmented dream. 

A painting of several blurred figures doing a danceThe Dance, acrylic ink on paper

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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