Using rich color and precise detail Michele B. Baggenstoss renders lifelike figures and florals. She combines her love of animals with her desire to paint. Since the age of 9 Michele knew she wanted to be an artist. It all started in a 3rd grade classroom where she drew her first horse and saw everyone was in awe of how realistic it was. It fueled her desire to learn more about art and found a book on how to draw animals in her school's library. She took it out repeatedly, memorizing the lines and forms used to create animals like horses and lions. In her adult life, she found the book that started it all and it is sitting on her shelf today. From there Michele went on to study Illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, which is where she was also born and raised. There she was classically trained under masters in their field in painting. She says her two biggest instructional influences were Michael Deas (known for his work with the US stamps) and Sam Martine, who had studied under the renowned Bob Peak. Michele also became an art educator, an unplanned path in her life that she discovered she loved. It gave her the ability to be able to touch art every day. After earning a Master's in Communication Design from the New York Institute of Technology, she continued to teach but on the college level. At this point in her life, Michele has achieved the ability to be able to wield both a brush and a mouse with equal ease to create art. It is clear in her paintings of flowers that one of her biggest influences is Georgia O'Keeffe. She also adds that illustrators like Maxfield Parrish and Norman Rockwell have also left an impression on her as well. Nature plays a large part in Michele's art and when asked why this is what she replied: "The curve of a petal, the majesty of a horse, the love in a pet's eyes draws me in and instills a need in me to explore the emotions that they convey with line, shape and color. " Michele's work has been exhibited across the country in various galleries and studios, from SOHO NYC to Ventura, California. Michele currently resides in Des Moines , Iowa with her husband. She works out of her home studio with her faithful Scottish terrier at her side.
An artist is not just what I do, it's who I am
I've known since the age of 9 that I wanted to be an artist, and I have been in one form or another throughout my life.
Regardless of the bumps in the road, art has always played a part, either as a spiritual healer or a joy giver.
My art has always been about nature and the elements that we live with; whether they are four-footed, two footed or rooted in the ground.