Women Branching Out: Mic Boekelmann

Mic Boekelmann Portrait

I’m excited to welcome award-winning painter and art coach Mic Boekelmann to the Women Branching Out interview series.

Mic’s the creator of Orange Door
, an art community for creative women in Princeton, New Jersey. She helps women make time for their artist journeys by providing a beautiful environment, community, and support.

You can sign up for a free mini drawing class from Mic at Orange Door.

Here’s Mic …

Tell us about Orange Door. What inspired you to start it?

Orange Door was inspired by the drawing and painting classes I held for women in my home studio in Princeton, New Jersey. It is a symbol for the creative possibilities that await you and my front door is really orange 🙂

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What advice do you have for women who are yearning to begin a creative journey, or restart their journey, but haven’t yet take a first step?


If you have a desire to start creating – it doesn’t matter how small or large this desire is – honor it and take action.
Schedule creative time and fill it with sketching, attending a weekend workshop, etc. The important thing is to show up and create. Have some sort of accountability – especially if you’re just starting your journey. One step will lead to another, so don’t over think this.

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When did you first start painting?

I started abstract painting in 2001 and then moved on to classical painting in 2010 when I was 40. I’m a living testimony that it’s never too late to start.

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What have you learned about your own artistic process from teaching others?

I’ve learned that the process takes time. It requires patience and being kind to yourself because you are your own worst critic.

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You’ve lived in four different countries, how has this experience impacted your take on life?

I value the beauty of diversity. Cultural differences excite me, but I also know that at the core we are all the same. We all share experiences such as hope, despair, dreams and love. I’m not thrown off by differences, I seek connections.

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Which artist(s) present or past would you love to sip Chianti with?

Frida Kahlo and Artemisia Gentileschi. That would be heavy and interesting, but I hope my time would them would still be infused with laughter.

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What your favorite museums in the US and abroad? 

I like the Princeton Art Museum – it’s small, not overwhelming and they have a nice range of art. You still get to see a Warhol, a Van Gogh and a Monet.  

The museum I would like to live in is the National Gallery of Canada based in Ottawa. It has a garden court, a water court and plenty of seating to view and connect to the art. The architect did an amazing job to create a building where your soul can breathe in art and feel refreshed.

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Why do you think it important for us to have art in our lives?

It’s breathing space for your soul and your mind.

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Mic Boekelmann is an award-winning painter, based in Princeton, New Jersey. She’s married to the coolest German, Joachim, and is the mother of two entertaining kids, Max and Luisa.  Her paintings are reflections of the beauty and potential she sees daily. You can find Mic at her studio, at Orange Door, and on Facebook.

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How do you bring art into your life? Do you paint, draw, write or do you fill your home with your favorite art? Share your art story below.

33 Responses to Women Branching Out: Mic Boekelmann

  1. Shannon April 8, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    So inspiring!

    • christie April 12, 2013 at 7:06 am #

      Yes Mic is! Thanks for stopping by Shannon!

  2. Karen Yankovich April 8, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    “take action, one step will lead to another”..such great advice! Sounds simple, but not so. One of these days Mic I’m going to stop into your gallery, I’m only about 90 minutes away. Great interview!

    • christie April 12, 2013 at 7:06 am #

      How cool that you live that close to Mic! I hope to see her work in person one day, too!

  3. Julia April 8, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Mic is not only a wonderfull talented artist, she’s also an incredibly inspiring and amazing person. Her art and friendship make my soul smile. Always.

    • christie April 12, 2013 at 7:07 am #

      Thanks for stopping by Julia!

  4. Lazarus Nazario April 8, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    ‘It’s breathing space for your soul and your mind.’ <—— That is a wonderful thing to say Mic! And it's so true. We need these respites of space to dissolve into beauty. I couldn't agree with you more.

    Frida and Artemisia are both so intense. What an incredible glass of wine THAT would be indeed. Would love to be a fly on that wall…..

    Christie, thank you so much for this interview. It's always nice to see an artist who understands how to run her business as well as open her Orange Door to new possibilities.

    Cheers!

    • christie April 12, 2013 at 7:08 am #

      Thank you so much Lazarus! I know you understand first hand all that goes into being an artist!

  5. Mic April 8, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Just want to give a shout out to you Christie! Thanks so much for this opportunity to share about my art thoughts. I love the way you showcase women in diverse areas of business and you make everything look nice – which is so important.
    @Shannon: Thanks!
    @Karen: Would love to have you at the gallery and make you a cappuccino!
    @Julia: You make me smile!
    @Lazarus: You, me, Frida and Artemisia – woah, that would be explosive. I don’t think we would talk about autoresponders, eh?

    • christie April 12, 2013 at 7:08 am #

      You are so welcome Mic! I’ve been admiring your artsy ways for a while!

  6. Mindy Crary April 8, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    This reminds me of a beloved great aunt I had growing up, who started painting when she was 50 years old and made some AMAZINGLY beautiful pieces of art (that the family still fights over). What a great way to start out this week, being inspired that it is never to late to start anything and to honor my creativity however it comes out!

  7. M. Pasa April 8, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    “… so don’t over think this.” You have identified my speed bump! Hopefully one day soon, I’ll make it up to NJ for one of your classes for beginners 🙂

    • christie April 12, 2013 at 7:10 am #

      We love to over think don’t we!

  8. rebecca@altaredspace April 9, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    I am in the middle of painting my bathroom orange. I used to hate this color. I wonder if it’s because, when I was little people teased me because I had orange hair – and freckles. Now I love this color. Loving it more every day.

    When I spent some time with Buddhists, I would sit on an orange cushion and meditate for an hour. It was a challenge to sit still for such a long time.

    Orange has been one of those colors in my life that has been filled with challenge and great reward.

    My husband gave me a teacup that is an art piece. It’s orange. At first I wished it was green or blue, but every evening, after I put my toddler children to bed I’d fill that cup with tea and sit with a pen in my hand. One night I put the pen down and read what I’d written. I actually loved what had poured out of me.

    All inspired from an abundance of orange.

    I’d love to hear the story behind your orange door. I’m heading there now to read more.

    • christie April 12, 2013 at 7:11 am #

      Love, love, love this Rebecca!

  9. Cathy Sykora April 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    Your work is gorgeous! I could just sit and look at it all day. I like what you said about Frida Kahlo…you just wish that some light would shine upon her…but then would the beauty that is in her work be as it is? I love art…all of it, no matter if it came from dark despair and pain or bliss (which…okay, how often do you hear of that?) We have a nice museum in Omaha, NE. I went to Catholic schools and I think we had Religion instead of art…I finally learned it at The Art Institute…it does take a long time…and you just have to accept it. I take my granddaughter to the museum for art class weekly…it is so cool the beauty that comes from 8 year olds! Thanks for another good interview Christie!

    • christie April 12, 2013 at 7:11 am #

      You’re welcome Cathy! I didn’t know that Mic and I shared a love of Frida Kahlo!

  10. Pam Pearson April 10, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Often I use “art” to express feeling and emotion. Just picking up a piece of paper and a medium and letting something flow to the paper. It is one of the ways I connect with my essence. What you said <> is so true about all the creative processes in my life. Unearthing the seed before it has germinated will cause it to die. Patience is a virtual. And, one I’m constantly working to develop. Great post! Thanks.

    • christie April 12, 2013 at 7:12 am #

      Very cool Pam. I doodle, but it’s not pretty!

  11. Teresa Deak April 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    Mic is wonderful – thank you for bringing her to us! I love how she describes art as breathing space for the heart and mind. So beautiful. (and that mention of the National Gallery of Canada made me proud, too!)
    My art is in words and photographs and delivering butterfly energy. I’m not quite ready to pick up a paint brush, but the idea of working in a visual medium is starting to enchant me….
    Hugs and butterflies,
    ~Teresa~

  12. Anastasia Valentine April 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Gorgeous feature and of course I’m a little biased because I already admire Mic and her beautiful work! I’d love to give her the grant tour of the National Gallery of Canada here in my home town of Ottawa. Mic consider it an open invitation 🙂

    XO

    AV

    • Mic April 11, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

      You are on, Anastasia! xo Mic

  13. Denise April 10, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    This is what speaks to me most in this post: “If you have a desire to start creating – it doesn’t matter how small or large this desire is – honor it and take action. Schedule creative time and fill it with sketching, attending a weekend workshop, etc. The important thing is to show up and create. Have some sort of accountability – especially if you’re just starting your journey. One step will lead to another, so don’t over think this.”

    Sometimes I squelch little desires that pop through, thinking they are big enough to put time into…when actually…if I fed the little desires…they may lead me to wonderful surprises. Thank you!

    • christie April 12, 2013 at 7:13 am #

      Love your comment Denise.

  14. Sabrina at MyMiBoSo April 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    LOVE THIS:

    Why do you think it important for us to have art in our lives?
    It’s breathing space for your soul and your mind.

    YES!

  15. Amber April 10, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    You are an amazing artist! Thanks for another great interview, Christie!

  16. Lisa Claudia Briggs April 11, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    This makes me want to pull out my colored pencils and draw.. the perfectionist in me always stops after the first time..my mother is an artist.. enough said. I also used to not love the color orange but the last 2 or 3 years have been finding it increasingly appealing and even considered painting a next room some gorgeous shade of orange..
    Mic your work is very beautiful/soulful.. and Christie your interviews (and you) are always such a pleasure..
    Love,
    Lisa

  17. Jessica April 13, 2013 at 7:01 am #

    It’s never too late to start, and that we’re all the same deep down, regardless of cultural differences — two pretty amazing notions to come out of a brief interview. There’s some serious brilliance here!

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