THE BUDDING ARTIST
My name is Michel (shelly) Keck. I am an abstract, mixed media artist working and living in Indiana and South Dakota. I was born in Huron, South Dakota in 1971 and moved to Indiana with my parents as a small child, when my father took work there.
At the huge risk of sounding cliché I have been creating art since as early as I can remember. Each summer we took a vacation to South Dakota to see family and I vividly remember my time at my Grandman Mary's in the living room creating with her charcoal and graphite sticks. At home I had every art supply a parent could buy a child and I was always encouraged to create. While neither of my parents have an artistic side, they watched me very early on gravitating to making art in one form or another and they always supported it.
If I wasn't coloring, painting, or drawing on the huge chalkboard that hung in the basement of our home I was spending my time outdoors in nature or playing with my dogs. From kindergarten to senior high school year my favorite subject was art. I entered art shows in school, always won awards but art for me was for escape and enjoyment it was never considered a career choice for me.
THE HOBBY ARTIST
Before the world labelled me artist, I labelled myself entrepreneur and from the time I graduated high school I always ran my own business. Early on I taught myself programming and spent many years developing websites for individuals. In helping people gain an internet presence I realized that businesses needed to be able to accept credit card payments through their websites and I started a merchant account processing company for one of the leading card processors.
All the time that I was running my own businesses I was always happily creating art in the background. Art in adulthood was exactly the same for me as it was in childhood: a means to unwind, escape, relax and find peace.
In the 90s, after I became diagnosed with 'Fibromyalgia' and a host of other health issues, the artwork I created almost exclusively and obsessively at that time was my pencil and ink circle drawings. Just like in childhood, my artwork was an escape. I was living with severe muscle/joint pain, chronic sinus infections and blinding migraines the only thing that seemed to alleviate the pain I was living in was making art.
I would spend hours creating intricate circle drawings and while people view them and say that they think working on art like that would cause a headache it was the complete opposite for me. Incredibly, my circle drawings, truly helped me cope with the intense migraines. Conventional medicine was only making my conditions worse not better. Eventually I found my way to an amazing chiropractor and nutritionist both of whom led me to a path of natural and alternative healing. With their guidance I completely reversed the very serious diseases and illnesses that I had suffered with for years. I turned to the internet to share what I had learned about fasting, raw food, natural healing with others. It was in that sharing of information on natural healing that I met another artist, Sarah Kiser, who encouraged me to share my artwork online.
THE PROFESSIONAL, FULL-TIME ARTIST
2003 - Following Sarah's advice, I joined the internet auction platform eBay and honestly the rest is truly history! In a fairly short period of time, I accomplished unheard of achievements for a self-taught & self-representing artist. I hit the eBay “Platinum Powerseller” ranks quickly. While the traditional art world deemed my self-representing, eBay art sales unconventional, I still managed to garner the attention of astute, contemporary art collectors around the world. By the end of 2006 I had sold over 1,500 original paintings to art collectors throughout the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Russia, Netherlands, Ireland, Chile, France, Italy, Austria, Portugal, Greece, Norway, Malta, Puerto Rico and the United Arab Emirates.
The Raw Artist - For those of you who have been following me since the beginning you know that I was given the nickname 'the raw artist' by collectors and fans. The nickname described not only the fact that I was self-taught, and the raw and muted styling of my artwork, but it described my raw food lifestyle as well.
Gallery owners didn't know what to do with me because I was successfully eschewing the gallery system at a time it was it was so not vogue to be doing so. eBay for me back then was what the social media world is for the artist today. I took my art business seriously and poured my blood, sweat and tears into it. I always invested back in to my art business and in doing so I was able to start my own fine art publishing division of my company.
2007 to 2010 - I spent a few years during this time meeting collectors face to face with exhibiting my art at different juried art shows and exhibits. I also thought outside the box during this time too and held several art events at places like High Point during market to create connections with individuals in the design trade. All along the way I took the unconventional route to marketing my art and it always worked well for me.
I feel grateful and blessed to have had my artwork chosen for different tv shows, movies and upscale department stores and restaurant/bar chains. My dog artworks have been placed in doggy daycares, posh pet stores and veterinarian clinics around the world. My scripture and cross art paintings have been purchased by many Christian schools and churches around the U.S.
Some of my corporate art projects include working with many of Nordstrom's Department stores across the U.S. to create original mixed media pieces for their Savvy Departments. Keck has supplied many restauranteurs around the world with her original artworks and fine art prints, including; Bar Louie, Wampango, Wuff, and Bean & Hop. Actress Sigourney Weaver, owns my original pug collage and she requested that my pug collage work be used as set décor in her 2015 movie Chappie. I have also provided artwork for other major motion pictures as well including the Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks. My artwork has also appeared on television programs such as the hit show HGTV hit House Hunters and also seen in the hit FX animated television series Archer (in seasons 1 through 5).
I have wonderful working relationships with many of the top interior design firms in the U.S. and Canada to supply upscale, contemporary abstract works for their clientele. If you are own a design firm and have found your way here and are interested in working together on any upcoming projects please reach out to me through email at michel [at] michelkeck.com with WHOLESALE ART INQUIRY in the subject line.
THE COHERENT ARTIST
For the majority of my adult life I have studied alternative healing, yoga, meditation, fasting and plant based nutrition. The past few years I have also been studying the incredible heart - brain connection and subjects like quantum physics and the works of such people as Joe Dispenza, Gregg Braden, Bruce Lipton and others in these similar fields.
My artwork has always been, since the time I began creating as a small child, an innate and often private process for me. Being confronted with questions like what inspires me to create or how do I create always use to make me extremely uncomfortable because my answer was just a simple, "I don't know really.. I just do it". It wasn't until I started studying the research of the HeartMath Institute did things really start to make sense to me as to where my inspiration to create my art was stemming from. I always knew that internal force was driving the creation of my art, I just didn't fully understand it. My circle drawings for example just started and it was as if my hands were just moving without me ever having a thought in my head. My abstract paintings started with an internal voice and a 'knowing' and 'unthinking process', that just moved my hands automatically. The act of creating my abstract art is a very meditative process for me and one in which my brain is shut off and it is almost a trance like state. After battling ip theft for many years of my abstract paintings and dog collage works I found much anxiety continuing to create in these styles and I found myself tinkering again in my 3d assemblage works as a break from my paintings/collage.
KECK ART COLLECTORS
Today my original paintings, mixed media artworks and fine art giclee prints hang in both private and corporate art collections in over 40+ countries around the world. I am truly proud to say that my art hangs in private & corporate art collections of both the first time art collector to the well-seasoned art afficionado. I love knowing that my art resonates to such a wide & diverse array of people from so many different walks of life. One of my original paintings, Drawing Straws, can even be found in the personal art collection of esteemed, billionaire art collector Chinh E. Chu.
I am a deeply intuitive person that believes strongly in the power of the heart/brain connection and I try to live life & create art from a place of heart coherence. I have always felt my inspiration is led by an inner voice. I look much more often internally than externally for the source of inspiration. I work in many medias; paintings, drawings, collage, assemblages, and a new media for me is clay (sculpture). I like to create from a place of joy, and coherence and for me that may mean flowing from painting an abstract one day and creating in clay/found objects the next. Creation for me is like a river flowing and if I feel myself force to work in an area my heart has no interest in at that moment it is like pushing against a strong current, so I let my heart and the 'enjoyment' of creation be my inspiration of how/what I will create.
I am grateful to the many grade school & high school art teachers around the world who have asked my permission to share my art and techniques with their art students in their schools. I've shared my dog art collage techniques with many teachers across the globe & have helped them create lesson plans for their students so they could create their own dog art collages. I have let studio visits with other artists to teach my abstract paintings techniques for my creation and wish list (energy paintings) series. In fall of 2002 I will be holding in studio classes to teach techniques of my found object assemblages and sculptures.
My art has exhibited in London, N.Y., Chicago, L.A., Dallas, Indianapolis, High Point, Pittsburgh, Lake Tahoe, Vegas & Hong Kong.
I was blessed to have sell out art exhibits at several of the art exhibits and art shows I've attended in Chicago, New York and Ohio.
My original paintings, collage works and images of my art have been seen on the tv shows Archer, House Hunters and in the motion pictures Chappie and The Longest Ride.
I have always been in great awe of the magnificent personal art collection of art collector Chinh E. Chu so it was a great honor to have one of my original paintings purchased for his extraordinary personal art collection.For more information on the private and corporate collections my art can be found click here.
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