“I don’t fall into any single artistic category,” explains Chaffee Arts member Michele Wayland. She has worked in oils, done sign work and logos, created Web design, painted murals in homes, and recently participated in restoring the Honor Roll Wall in downtown Salida.
Currently, Michele is focusing on pet portraits in acrylics. “I work in acrylics because
I guess I am impatient,” she admits. Her Website notes that her brushwork captures each distinct personality of her clients’ cherished pets. Duffy looks out from his portrait with melancholy eyes and a wet nose. Another work, “Roberts Commission,” captures a rust-colored “best friend” not only an owner could loved. Her output also includes her “Foray into Landscapes” --impressions of her drives
through the San Luis Valley and her daily trips across Badger Creek. “The Fire Within,” is a panorama scene inspired by the view from her own backyard in Hartsel.
“I like a lot of disciplines,” she says of her artwork. Recently she installed a multimedia work in a private reserve in Saguache. “I created a snake out of wood
and found items,” she explains. “I carved the head out of wood. The rattle is from a piece of spine the client had picked up.”
Michele grew up in Florida in a rural area around Tampa. Her grandmother signed her up for every art class that became available. “I’ve been drawing ever since I was old enough to hold a pen,” she says. Riding with her childhood friends inspired her early drawings of ponies. The family friends relocated to Colorado while Michele was in college working on her B.A. in fine arts. In 1996 she followed the family to live and work on their ranch. “I met my husband here,” she says.
Most of her work is commissioned. She likes that each piece “goes home with the
client.” “I enjoy a challenge,” she adds. “I like working with people who have an idea, but don’t know how to manifest it.”