Reigning Cats and Dogs at Osborne Studio Gallery

Foreword by Kit Kemp, Founder and Creative Director of Firmdale Hotels

Michelle is a truly multi-talented artist. She can draw, she can paint, she can create murals of vast proportions that can captivate the viewer for hours. Equally, she can capture the smallest insect like a bee and bring it to life with consummate skill. I have viewed her range of subjects with awe over many years. Her free spirit and joy of life are evident in all her work. She captures the Natural World and its animal inhabitants like no other Artist. It is her view of the animal world, her observations of both domesticated and wild animals that sets Michelle apart from other talented artists.

Michelle has a stillness and calm about her, and an unerring eye for detail. The patience and understanding required to capture the personality and character of an animal is a gift that Michelle has been given. She was lucky enough to realise this artistic gift as a teenager and has spent a lifetime honing her extraordinary skills. She has travelled the world, often camping or on safaris to observe at close quarters animals in their natural habitats.

The most vivid drawings of wild cats that I have ever seen are by Michelle. They capture the combination of sleek feline speed and the unpredictable power and danger that a wild animal possesses. As an artist, Michelle has spent years drawing and painting animals refining her art. She captures both the character that makes the particular animal unique and the movement that ranges from indolent to menacing in a matter of seconds. It is this gift to convey the speed and character that transcends her work from observation to artistry. This fascination captures us all and her observations can stop us in our tracks. We want to celebrate the wonders of these wild creatures. Michelle makes this possible.

A portrait artist can speak to his subject, to visualise and understand. Michelle relies on instinct and patience, and hours spent sketching, watching, becoming mesmerised and enchanted by creatures in their natural surroundings. Michelle has been on safaris in Namibia, Libya, India and South Africa, spending countless hours observing and listening to Rangers.

A favourite place for Michelle is Tenikwa situated on the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It is a wildlife rehabilitation centre set up by Mandy and Len Freeman. They take injured, abandoned and displaced animals, rehabilitate and when ready return them to the wild. Tenikwa allows Michelle to spend hours of sketching time close up without being a threat (or vice versa ). Michelle says, “I have had the privilege to walk with several of the Cheetah including Simbali, Chester, Shaka and Thandi. They, in turn, have been painted for posterity.” Michelle enriches our understanding of the fragility, power and beauty of these animals and the knife-edge of their life in the wild.

This Exhibition “Reigning Cats and Dogs” showcases Michelle’s range of talents and will bring together all her fans, friends and followers throughout the world. Her work is respected and celebrated on every continent. Her breadth of knowledge and understanding of animals continues to astonish and enchant us all. Her Art will live forever.

Kit Kemp

2020 Osborne Studio Gallery, London SW1X

2017 Studio Exhibition for Che Roga Children’s Home, Paraguay

2016 La Galleria, Pall Mall, London

2015 Wykham Gallery, Stockbridge, Hampshire

2014 Pall Mall, London W1

2011 The Showcase Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2009 Galerie d’Art Lawrence-Arnott, Marrakesh, Morocco

2008 The Gallery in Cork Street, W1

2006 The Gallery in Cork Street, W1

2005 Woman’s Society of Artists, Mall Galleries

2003 The Gallery in Cork Street, W1

2003 The Gallery in Cork Street, W1

2000 The Gallery in Cork Street, W1

1999 The Royal Society of British Artists, Mall Galleries, The Mall, London W1

1998 Raphael Valls Gallery, Ryder Street, W1

1994 Palm Beach, Florida, USA

1986 Cadogan Gallery, Pont Street, SW1

1983 Cadogan Gallery, Pont Street, SW1

1980 Christmas Show: Coln Gallery, Walton Street, SW3

1979 First Exhibition:Charles Young Fine Paintings, Bond Street, London W1