Conversations and slips of tongue inspire neighborhood artist Michele Mikesell. The idea for her latest exhibit, “Eating Crow”, came from a telephone conversation in which a friend told Mikesell that for dinner, her family would be eating crow — literally. This amusing reality turned the well-known idiom on its head and inspired Mikesell to paint the title piece, a crow eating a crow. Similarly, in paintings named “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and “a leopard can’t change his spots”, Mikesell creates a play-on-play-on-words by taking the expressions to their literal conclusions. In all of her paintings, the animals assume human characteristics; in the case of the crow, it sits at a dining table, wears a suit and white gloves, and uses a plate and utensils to eat. “I paint animals to compare and contrast with humans,” Mikesell says. “Looking at a human face, we could all think the same thing, but looking at an animal with human features, everyone will see it differently.” The Bishop Arts District is home to her studio because she believes in supporting her neighborhood. Other than the Decorazon Gallery, her work is also on display in Oklahoma City, Santa Fe, New Orleans and Los Angeles.