Takoma Treasures: Painter Michelle Bailey Finds Magic in Everyday Life

Michelle Bailey, wearing the "Roscoe" scarf

Michelle Bailey wearing the “Roscoe” scarf

On Saturday and Sunday, May 3-4, Takoma Park merchants and restaurants will host local artists in the city’s fifth annual Art Hop. It will be the first-ever juried art show for painter Michelle Bailey, who will be stationed at Mark’s Kitchen to meet and greet art lovers and, of course, sell her work.

Trained in graphic design, Bailey spent several years honing her painting skills by hosting weekly “art nights” with friends and, eventually, taking formal art classes at Montgomery College. As is the case with many artists, Bailey said it took time to build up confidence in her work.

A longtime resident of Takoma Park, Bailey found her muse as she began capturing scenes from the neighborhood on her canvas. One of the images that captivated her was Normon Greene’s sculpture of Roscoe the Rooster, whom Bailey recalls hearing “crow” in the neighborhood years ago.

Another inspiration was Bailey’s neighbor and city council member, Kay Daniels-Cohen, who died this past February. Bailey paid tribute to Daniels-Cohen’s flamboyant style and exuberant spirit in a portrait titled “Kay Sparkles.” Bailey said she was honored when the portrait was displayed during Daniels-Cohen’s memorial service.

Bailey found a less uplifting source of creative fodder in the 2013 federal budget sequester, which left her without a paycheck for several weeks. While at home, she channeled her frustration into “BLIEVE, HON,” a painting of a pickup truck covered in political, spiritual, and whimsical bumper stickers.


Mark’s Kitchen has been particularly helpful and encouraging, Bailey said, inviting to her hang pictures for sale as early as this week, and suggesting she make table tents to help advertise her work, which includes notecards in addition to framed and mounted prints.

You can meet Michelle at her Artist Reception Saturday, May 3 from 3:30 p.m to 5 p.m. at Mark’s Kitchen.




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