Since graduating Parson’s School of Design in the 1980s, Michele Amatrula has made a name for herself as a realist. Working as an illustrator, her oil paintings have been featured as book covers, magazine illustrations and postage stamps. Her dramatic black and white renderings have appeared regularly in the New York Times for a wide array of clients. Most recently Michele has concentrated her talents on creating highly prized canine imagery for both the commercial and private markets.
The shift in Michele’s artistic focus occurred in 2000. After the near death of her beloved Yorkie Wolfgar, Michele decided to paint his portrait and immortalize him in oils. As friends would visit they were inexplicably drawn to the painting. She began receiving requests to paint portraits of their pets. She soon found herself busy with commissions from all over the country
Michele approaches the animal portrait in exactly the same way a fine portrait painter would any other member of a family. She seeks to illuminate the soul, and capture the essence of what makes the pet special to it’s owner. Her genuine love of animals drives her to not only reproduce the likeness of the animal in painstaking detail, but it’s personality as well.
Most recently, one of Michele’s portraits received the 2006 International Portrait Competition’s Certificate of Excellence. Another of her paintings took an award at the 2005, 18th Contemporary American Dog Art Competition. She has been recognized as the best pet artist by “Dan’s Paper” in 2004 and was the recipient of the RW’s 2002 and 2003 Artemis Awards.