"Working with Michele was wonderful. She thoroughly explained the process of the painting. She listened to our suggestions and stayed true to her own artistic vision. She planned the framing and had the painting delivered to our apartment. Michele is a true professional. She has our complete trust and confidence."

—Jim and Landis

The Artist

For me, painting a portrait begins with listening. I listen intently – gathering and storing observations and impressions. In the first meeting I discover why you have come, what you love, and how you see yourself. The location where the finished portrait will be hung is also discussed. During the visit I photograph you from a variety of angles and viewpoints. These are preliminary photographs that allow me to continue my study of your features after the visit has ended.

Based on my notes and years of experience, I develop a concept that best expresses who you are. Then I schedule time for a photographic shoot to gather more specific reference material. Before I approach my easel and canvas I refine my concept, using it as a guide to the direction that I want the portrait to take.

I begin to paint the portrait – working to capture your personality. Always, I remain open to what you continue to show me of yourself. Through the conscious process of selection and the manipulation of my materials, the uniqueness that is you comes alive on the canvas. All portraits challenge me to grow, to develop new techniques, and to hold on to my artistic integrity.

Through this creative process I achieve what has become my ideal: to paint beautiful authentic personal portraits that are timeless works of art. This, to me, is the essence of portraiture as I know it.

I once read a description that drew the following distinction between a good portrait painter and a superior one: the good one painted people as if they were about to speak, the other painted his subjects as if they possessed the power of thought. I aim for the latter, because I find implied action more fascinating than the explicit…it is the search for what lies beneath the surface of things that impels me and drives a painting forward. In my work I strive not only for accuracy, but for a sense of spontaneity, of life.