Michele’s love for art grew out of an early exposure to the New York art scene. As a child, her mother regularly took her to museums, galleries and the theater. Moved by what she experienced, Michele began to draw and paint at an early age.
As a graduate student in printmaking, a trip to Florence, Italy for an intensive printmaking course completely changed the direction of Michele’s work. Having fallen in love with the landscape and people of Italy, she began to paint “en plein air” in pastel, and would return to Italy often, to paint.
Over the years, she shifted her focus to oils, and has deepened her attachment to the landscape, especially to mountain wilderness and the remote backcountry. She regularly hikes, backpacks, and takes mule pack trips to paint in these unspoiled and secluded areas in the Eastern Sierra, not far from her home in Lake Tahoe, CA.
Michele has studied plein air painting with Kevin Macpherson, Jean LeGassick, Karl Dempwolf, and Randall Sexton, among others. Her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the Oil Painters of America 22nd Annual National Juried Exhibition in Fredericksburg, Texas; the California Art Club’s “A Century of Landscapes” at the California Historical Society in San Francisco, CA; and the “American Women Artists 2009” National Juried Exhibition and Competition at the South Street Gallery in Easton, MD, where she received an award of merit. Her work has been exhibited in galleries on both East and West coasts, and exists in private collections throughout the United States and Canada.
Michele received her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. She is a member of the Oil Painters of America, California Art Club, American Impressionist Society and American Women Artists.
More on her and her work can be found at micheledebraganca.com.