Born and raised in rural Montevideo, Minnesota, Michele’s passion for animals and nature began at an early age, as did her ability to express what she loved through art. Much of her young life was spent outdoors observing and drawing the livestock and pets that were part of her family’s farm. When she was not drawing, or spending time with animals, Michele would be engrossed in any books she could find about art, animals, and nature. This early “training” led Michele to experiment with many forms of art media to find her niche. Although drawing will always form the foundation of her works, her finished pieces are almost always depicted in oils, which have become her preferred method of artistic expression. Michele’s goal as an artist is to create engaging works, that viewers can connect with. While she paints a variety of animal subjects, all have personal meaning and importance. Once the composition is right, one of her favorite parts of beginning a new painting is choosing the palette of colors to use. Michele currently lives in rural Saint Joseph, Minnesota, where she creates her work from her home studio. She shares her home with her husband and daughter, and two very special animal friends whom her studio is named after, their dog Summer, and cat Bella. My artwork is inspired by the natural world, and the beauty of the creatures who inhabit it. My most recent work has been focused on horses and wildlife. I have been horse crazy ever since I was a small child, and the natural world has always fascinated me, everything from bugs to big cats. Nature is an important factor to the human experience, and we need to take care of it. I want my audience to feel that same appreciation and connection, and to know that they are seeing a little bit of me and what I love, in each piece of work that I do. Observation is a key element in my process. There is nothing I enjoy more than just being quiet out in nature, to really “soak it in”. I spend many hours watching and listening, taking mental notes, sketches, and photographs of my subjects, or items I find interesting. Oftentimes, during this process, the idea for a painting will form in my mind, and then it is time to get it down on paper, revise it, and eventually see it come to fruition on the canvas. In addition to my personal work, I am available for commissions. Please contact me if you would like to discuss an idea for a commissioned piece.
- Dennis Smith