Extraordinary abode

         An Artist's Home In Iceland

Hot lava pours into the sea, volcanic glass fragments mix with black sand beaches -- as a young child Michelle Bird stood at the edge of strong cultural tides, inheriting her Chinese artist father's classical eye and her Western mother's courage with bold architectural form. Described as "tactile and erotic," abstract expressionist Bird's paintings radiate the fusion of cultures and colors.

Michelle Bird came early to her love of color as she leaned barefoot into the ocean wind hunting the last subtle green flash in her Hawaiian sunset. When her family moved to California she added the texture of old growth Redwood forests, San Francisco fogs, plump grape vines and desert silt. Her paintings reflect a wide palette of almost Baroque colors. "I paint fervently for long intervals," says the artist, "as if I were walking blindfolded through nature, feeling the color with my skin."