While transitioning from her medium of choice watercolor to oils, Melcher rediscovered the portraits of the 18th and 19th-century. She was delighted by the pure decadence with which some of these painters represented their subjects. She was drawn to the larger-than-life hairstyles, lavish accouterments, and attire.
In her new series, “Dead Masters”, Melcher pays homage to her continued interest in portraiture as well as the classic themes of vanitas and memento mori. She examines these two sometimes misunderstood genres, as well as the pure scientific aspect of studying and drawing the workings of the human skeleton, through the lens of the great 18th and 19th-century portraits.
Melcher’s hope is that “we are reminded that our time on Earth is limited and that we need to fill our time with our passions and the people and things we love.”
Michele Melcher is a classically trained fine artist and illustrator. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1997 from the renowned University of the Arts located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For over twenty years Michele has honed her craft as an illustrator specializing in editorial, portraiture, and advertising for clients such as the AARP, American Express, The Chicago Tribune, and the Smithsonian.
All the while she has been creating and showing her work in galleries both regionally and internationally. Michele’s work follows themes of folklore, legends, the supernatural and the natural sciences. Her latest paintings pay homage to the decadence of 18th and 19th-century portrait masters as well as her interest in the themes and symbolism of vanitas and memento mori.
Michele creates and lives in the historic village of Carversville, Pennsylvania with her loving husband and her two black cats.