Michelle Grayum

After studying art and design at Middle Tennessee State University, Grayum earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1999. Following college, Grayum began presenting work with Plowhaus (the East Nashville artist cooperative) and has since shown her artwork in several exhibitions, venues, and galleries in Tennessee and Kentucky. In addition to receiving a Visionary Award from JDRF, her work has been recognized in All the Rage, Nashville Arts, Runner’s World, and Art Galleries & Artists of the South

Michelle spreads her unique blend of sophisticated whimsy into the world by fusing media, techniques, and materials in playful and often experimental ways. Bringing together experience with small-scale sculpture, collage, painting, and sketching, Grayum blends line, shape, and symbol into a palette of vibrant hues and earthy neutrals. She began honing her skills with encaustics in 2013 after discovering a love for the versatile, ancient medium. Grayum paints with translucent layers of beeswax, resin, pigment, and embedded materials to evoke a sense of peace and simplicity amidst life’s complexity.

“I explore submerged emotions and memories by lifting them to the surface and letting them breathe. By building layers of paint with my brush (including oils and metal powders), and then carving and fusing a molten medium of beeswax, pigments and resin, I’m able to create translucent, glassy layers of wax that are rich with color, texture, and a sense of space. Encaustics are extremely versatile in this way. They allow both recognizably poetic scenes, such as two birds watching a sunset together or flowers blowing in the wind, to coexist alongside more fiery, textural abstractions.”