Family, joy, peacefulness, and even whimsy. Michele Walter’s artwork beckons us to not only remember but to genuinely reflect upon these good things in life. Whether a viewer is experiencing a watercolor landscape, a pencil portrait, or possibly an acrylic fanciful animal, Michele’s gift of evoking a happy resonance within the viewer cannot be understated.
Michele’s path in the world of art has been a long journeyed one and as a result she has continued to challenge herself into new mediums and techniques. Having cultivated her watercolor techniques to have the more familiar softness while also capturing outstanding detail, it is no surprise she’s become an award winning artist regionally. Michele’s desire to continually express herself artistically motivated her to not limit herself in only watercolor. The bold intensity of color combined with the fanciful representation of animals has also earned her regional awards.
Cultivated from early childhood, Michele credits her mother, also an artist, as the significant influence in pursuing her passion to express herself through painting. Always feeling the desire to create, it is in painting that Michele confesses to always be observing, thinking, and processing her thoughts.
Growing up in Franklin County, Virginia, known for being in the foot hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and into a family that relished experiencing life in the outdoors, Michele employs an easy integration of family life within the natural settings of the mountains, trails, rivers, and pastures with which she is so familiar.
A portrait of her cat, Tiger, won Michele a first place award in the Fincastle Art Show at the tender age of seven. Awards accumulated throughout her high school career, earning her a scholarship to the art school, The American College in Atlanta, Georgia. Her talents, along with two fellow students, resulted in them being known as, “The A Team.”
Michele pursued a Marketing degree, much suited to her outgoing and personable strengths interacting with others, at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Known for having a strong art program, VCU also provided Michele with the courses that allowed her to continue to study art and continue to foster her artistic expressions.
Post college saw Michele employed for six years in Pharmaceutical Sales, enjoying daily interactions and travels and using her free time to engage in drawing. Marriage came about this time and, within a few years, so too did motherhood. In the very busy years of raising a young family, Michele’s desires for artistic outlets manifested themselves in some of the practical variety; working with fabrics, functional crafts, and then teaching art to her children. It was through this season of her life, as a home schooling mother, that others began to appreciate that Michele’s talents could overflow into the blessings of providing art instruction to their own children.
Happily, in the busyness of motherhood, the unexpected but welcome requests for commissioned drawings of precious children, newlyweds, and beloved animals began to flow through Michele’s studio door. As her children grew, so too did the time she could devote to expanding her style of art.
Pursuing family life outdoors with her husband and children is still a priority for Michele as they run, cycle, ski, hike, and participate in organized sports. Little wonder then that her use of fresh color, whether realistic or impressionistic, scenes of hometown, of candid family moments, or capturing the simple softness of animal fur elicits our own joy and feelings of appreciation that she is so clearly experiencing within her own sphere.
Currently residing in the New River Valley, still close to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Michele’s craft has brought her to being a member of the Blacksburg Regional Art Association, the Virginia Watercolor Society, and the Virginia 8 Group. Ever the student, Michele continues to study along side fellow artists, Robin Poteet, Tracy Budd, Susanna Winton, Ted Nutall, and Don Andrews. Michele considers it a privilege to hone and expand her abilities along side such respected artists.