Behind the Texture

with Michelle Kesselman

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Hi! I’m Michelle. I am the owner of Meesh Paints LLC, a decorative painting company in NYC. Although based in New York, I have painted all over the country as well as internationally. I paint residential and commercial spaces, painting anything from walls to floors to ceilings, furniture, canvas and more. My work is a reflection of my deeply rooted passion for painting and art. With decorative painting, the paths you can take are endless, and I am always excited and eager to explore.

Where are you from? Where and what did you study?
I am originally from New Jersey, but have lived in Brooklyn, New York for the last 7 years. I graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2010 with a degree in Studio Art with a concentration in printmaking and sculpture and a minor in Art History. In 2015, I attended the Van Der Kelen Institute for Decorative Painting in Brussels, Belgium.

What influences do you think shaped your approach to decorative art?
My teacher at Van Der Kelen, Denise Van Der Kelen, is a wizard with a brush and I had the honor of learning my foundational knowledge of decorative painting from her. I am heavily influenced walking in the streets of New York City daily, by the places I have traveled and cities I’ve lived in…intrigued by the details of everything around me to a fault- the hues of nature, the shapes of buildings, the textures of walls, and the way the colors, the look, and the feel of spaces change from day to night. I like to put a new twist to my finishes while still honoring ancient decorative painting techniques.

What’s your favorite part about your job?
My favorite part about my job is the creating and painting whilst bringing joy to people. If it’s an interactive paint job, a children’s bedroom, or even a canvas, to see that it’s making people feel something makes it all worth it.

Do you play music while you work and what kind?
I love playing music while I work (you’ll sometimes find me dancing on-site), it all depends on the day, the project and the mood! My playlist evolves all the time, but currently I’ve been listening to Billy Strings, Dope Lemon, Erykah Badu, Hiromi, Bobby Womack, and always the Grateful Dead. If it’s not music, it’s usually a True Crime podcast, and if it’s not a podcast it’s an audiobook (Just finished Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin).

If you had to pick just one color that represents you, what color would it be and why?
Blue — with its many different and unique shades, blue feels open and deep, warm and cool, fun and loud while also being soft and inviting.

When you’re not at work, what can we find you doing?
When I’m not at work, I’m either hanging out with my fiancé Jeremy and my dog Potato, traveling, escaping the city to nature, or spending quality time with friends.

Explore more of Michelle’s work at

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