Portrait of a Human 2011 Watercolor on Clayboard
Purple Vessel Watercolor 2023
From the Cells to the Stars Watercolor 2010
Blue Mitosis Watercolor 2021
Mitosis in Drosophila 2021 Ink on Yupo
Green Morula 2020 Watercolor
Blue and Green Mitochondria Watercolor 2020
Blue Cells Watercolor 2022
One of Michele’s most stunning works is “From the Cells to the Stars”, made after she lost her friend Cathy to cancer. She wanted to tell Cathy’s tale through painting—but not in a negative, depressing way that would just focus on bodily deterioration. She found a parallel between supernovas and dividing cancer cells and added to it the inspiration gained from Carl Sagan, who famously quoted: “We’re all made of star stuff”. The result was gorgeous. Cancer, as saddening as it may be, became an event that could be reflected in cosmic occurences and turned into something just a tad less meaningless and lonely.
Michele says: “I was reading about astronomer Carl Sagan, who often expressed the idea that humans are made of “star stuff.” That is, that all the basic elements of life on earth derive from “space debris” from the gigantic explosions of massive, ancient stars. This concept is at once so simple and so mind-boggling that it’s a struggle to absorb, much less to express artistically. I started looking around for ideas of how to visually portray the basic elements such as hydrogen, helium, and nitrogen. This is difficult, because you can’t see them.
“If you do a Google image search on Carbon, it comes up with a lot of gray-black cars. But when I thought about how the elements were released, I found supernovas. Not only are supernovas beautiful and awe-inspiring, they bear a strong resemblance to dividing cells, especially explosively dividing cancer cells. This painting, besides celebrating the cosmic connection that all living creatures share, goes out to Cathy and Carl. From the infinitely tiny cells deep in the marrow of their bones, to the billions of stars in the sky.”