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Michele Byrne

View Artist's Original Paintings



Artist Statement

On Plein Air Painting

My recent trip to Cuba (February 2016) sparked a whole new energy in my work. The vibrancy of the city, the vintage cars, the people, and the music helped to create a frenzy in my work that I am truly loving! And, my recent use of thicker paint, applied with palette knife, also creates a more dynamic visual. I’m now coupling this enhanced energy with my preference to painting outdoors directly on site. I feel that it is the best way to capture the immediacy of what I am feeling in the moment. It allows me to immerse myself in the subject. Whether standing next to a busy café, a crowded street or inside a jazz club, I know that it is not just the visual information that becomes a part of the painting. The sounds, the smells, the mood and the environment all become integral to the finished image. My plein air paintings are intended to capture all of this and be mirrors of our lives. There is something magical and mystical about standing with your feet firmly planted on the earth, absorbing all the sounds, smells and conversations, as well as the visual information, and letting it all flow out onto the canvas. I become a part of the scene and the paintings seem to flow out of me. I love the thought that they then reflect those moments in time into the homes and offices of my patrons.



Michele Byrne is recognized for her figurative plein air work. In recent work, Michele continues the wonderful tradition of flag paintings in American art. She travels extensively, painting in various locations including, Manhattan, Paris, California, Colorado, Cuba and Key West. Michele was a Faculty Demonstrator for the Annual Plein Air Convention in Monterey, CA in April of 2014. Exhibiting widely, recent and upcoming shows include the American Impressionist Society's National Juried Exhibitions at Eckert & Ross Fine Art in Indianapolis and at Gingerbread Square Gallery in Key West. Byrne has won numerous awards in her plein air and studio work including her most recent People’s Choice Award, Third Place at the Forgotten Coast Quick Draw, and 2nd Prize in the Urban Life Exhibition at the Salmagundi Club in New York in February of 2015. Painting in plein air is not just a passion for Michele it is a dedication. The artist must make decisions about time of day, direction of light and inclusion of figures despite the fact that in front of you everything is changing. These decisions allow the artist to paint dynamically with light and air as a part of the final image.
“Painting plein air allows me to create a more fluid diary of the ever-changing activity of a café or street scene or beach scene.”
Byrne’s work can be found in the permanent collection of the Bennington Museum in Vermont, and the important Mennello Collection in Florida, as well as others. Two books of her paintings are published and she is working on a third book. The titles of the published books are “The Art of Conversation” with an introduction by Constance Battle MD and “The Art of Conversation: Manhattan” with an introduction by Meredith Lewis. Michele has also had her works included in sales at Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia and she is a nominated member of the Salmagundi Club in NYC, Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionists Society. Byrne’s work was featured in an eight-page article written by Steve Doherty in the June/July 2013 Issue of PleinAir Magazine.


Museum Collections:

2012 Bennington Center For The Arts – purchased “Paper Mill Bridge” for their Permanent Collection

Recent Professional Benchmarks:
2016 Awarded Signature Member status with the American Impressionist Society
2015 The Art of The Film - Louis Long Gallery – First Place Award – Juror Robert Metzger,    
           Lauralynn White
2015 Sedona Plein Air Invitational Salon Speakeasy – Third Place Award – Juror Catherine Dietrich
2015 Jane Impastato Award – Salmagundi Club Fall Auctions – Juror Elizabeth Spencer
2015 Oil Painters Of America Eastern Regional Exhibit - Eckert & Ross Gallery, Indianapolis
2015 American Impressionist Society 16th National Juried Exhibition, Trailside Galleries, Scottsdale
2015 Brush Off Award, 3rd Place Award and Randy Higby Framing Award - Just Plein Fun Plein Air
           Invitational, Debra Huse Gallery, Balboa Island, CA, Juror Jean Stern
2015 People’s Choice and 3rd Place Award – Forgotten Coast Plein Air Quick Draw, Apalachicola, 
       FL, Juror Joshua Rose
2015 2nd Place Award – Salmagundi Club – Urban Landscape Exhibit, New York, NY
2014 American Impressionist Society 15th National Juried Exhibition, Abend Gallery, Denver
2014 Award of Merrit and Randy Higby Award - Just Plein Fun Plein Air Invitational, Juror Jean
           Stern, Balboa Island, CA
2014 Invited to do Painting Demo at PleinAir Magazine Annual Convention, Monterey, CA
2014 Honorable Mention - Wayne Plein Air - Wayne, PA
2013 First Place Award - Debra Huse Gallery - Just Plein Fun Plein Air Invitational, Juror Jean
           Stern, Balboa Island, CA
2013 PleinAir Magazine, June/July – 8 Page Feature Article, by Steve Doherty
2013 TSKW - The Studios of Key West - 4 Week Artist Residency Fellowship, Key West
2012 Juried into the Oil Painters Of America Eastern Regional Division Exhibit - Bennington, Vt.
2012 Second Place Award - Easton Plein Air Quick Draw, Easton, MD - Juror Tim Newton
2012 People’s Choice Award - Aspen Plein Air Invitational, Aspen
2012 Third Place Award - Cranford Paint the Town, Cranford, NJ - Juror Joseph McGurl
2012 Artists’ Choice Award, First Place Award & Peoples’ Choice Awards - Paint the Town,
           Chestertown, MD
2011 Juried into the American Impressionist Society – Nat’l Juried Exhibition, Mountainsong
           Gallery, Carmel, CA


2015 Studied with artist Quang Ho, Salmagundi Club, NYC
2015 Studied with artist CW Mundy, New Harmony, IN
2011 Studied with artists Quang Ho, Carolyn Anderson and Dan McCaw
2009 Studied with artists Richard Schmid, Stuart Shils and Ken Auster
2001-2003 Figure and Portraiture classes, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
2002 Studied with California artist Robert Burridge at the Institute of the Arts, Wyomissing
1977-1981 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Kutztown University, PA

Memberships and affiliations:

Signature Member of The American Impressionist Society, Oil Painters of American, Artists’ Fellowship, Inc., Laguna Plein Air Painters, California Art Club, Salmagundi Club, Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association, Rehoboth Art League, Berks Art Alliance

Current Exhibition

See Past Exhibitions


Past Exhibitions

Michele Byrne Paintings
2014 - 2015 Exhibition


Gingerbread Square Gallery Key West, FL 33040
© 2016 Gingerbread Square Gallery