Technique Talk: Painter Michael Bush

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Technique Talk is a weekly online Alive feature that spotlights the process of a Columbus artist. Know someone we should talk to? Send tips to

If what you see in Michael Bush's dynamic, textured paintings is constantly evolving, you're doing it right. Lucky you. The artist's abstraction is heavily influenced by his interest in Rorschach Inkblot tests, those splotchy sheets used to analyze an individual's psychology. If you're out and about this next month, you'll be seeing a lot of Bush's work. In June his pieces will be in a group show at Union Café and in solo shows at Image Optical and the Short North Candle Lab, where he'll donate $50 of every piece sold to AIDS Resource Center Ohio. Go see his work in person; you'll probably learn something about yourself.

What kind of art do you make and why?

I've worked primarily in abstract over the years with a little tinkering in the stencil making side. I love the motion and fluidity in abstract art. I tend to try and merge my mood at the time into what I am working on.I paint as a means of therapy. I use that time to reflect on my day/week, and release my emotions out on what I am working on.

When do you make art and why?

I try for seven days a week, mostly during the week after my day job. I spend some time at the studio if not it's at home.

How often do you make art?

I try to work as much as I can. I usually try for 10 to 15 hours a week in the studio, but I also work from home. I'm always researching inspiration for new work, so I guess I never really stop working.

Where do you make art and why?

Mostly my studio at 400 West Rich, but I also work on things at home. I keep a bag with me most of the time that I keep supplies in, just in case the mood strikes.

What has been inspiring your work lately?

I'm always inspired by music, but one thing that has always been a source of inspiration for me is the Rorschach inkblot test. My latest body of work is sort of homage to the inkblots in a sense.

What advice that you've found invaluable would you give a new artist?

To work - often. Enjoy what you do and do not forget why you create artwork. It's easy to get wrapped up into the business end of art and, with that, sometimes the most important part is missed - creating the work.

What do you do while you work?

Listen to music, mostly and talk to myself. I try not to answer though in case someone is listening.

Do you ever experience artists' block?

From time to time, I do. I try to focus on something else once that happens and move on from there.

Three artists, living or dead, that you would invite to a dinner party:

I had an original invite list of 30 but whittled it down to Rothko, Monet, and Warhol.