Meet Your Nieghbor: Michele de Braganca |

Meet Your Nieghbor: Michele de Braganca

Seth Lightcap/Sierra Sun

How long have you been a Tahoe City resident?

For 16 years altogether. Since I moved here I only left once to take my masters degree in Fine Arts at CCAC, San Francisco.

And how was that?

It was good. I worked in an art gallery in San Francisco and learned a lot, but I missed Tahoe.

Does living in Tahoe inspire your work?

A lot, there are limitless places to be inspired here. There is no end to the beautiful landscapes and possibilities to paint ” the mountains, the waters, the lights. I like to hike up the Eastern Sierras backpacking, camp for a couple of days and paint.

How long have you been painting?

I have been painting for more than 30 years. I also have painted pet portraits for more than 25 years.

What style do you consider your painting?

Some people call my style impressionistic. I am a “plein air” artist, which means “in full open air” or landscape painting. I have used chalk and pastel since the beginning of my career; along the years I have been through a transition to oil work. But what I try to do to in my paintings is simply capture the quality of light in the landscape.

Do you think your style has changed over the years?

Yes, I always hope to change and evolve over the years as an artist. I expect to never stick or stagnate to one style just because it “works.”

Who are your major art influences?

Scott Burdick, one of my absolutely favorite artists. Kevin MacPherson, who influenced me to fall in love with “plein air,” and Jean LeGassick; I took workshops with both.

Did the workshops influence you?

It was a life-changing experience, Kevin is a very encouraging and generous teacher, he gave me a higher motivation to do “plein air.” Jean LeGassick, (I participated in one of her workshops two weeks ago), was also very inspiring. She and I share the love for the mountains and outdoors. She makes this funny joke about “plein air” artists: How many “plein air” painters does it take to do a painting? Two. One to do the painting, and one to tell them where to stop. So I have been encouraged by her to figure when to stop, I always want to do more.

I heard one of your paintings won the “Best of Show” at the Martis Valley Plein Air event at Northstar last month, congratulations! What about your failures, do you have any? How do you deal with it as an artist?

I have a lot of paintings that didn’t work out. I don’t consider them absolute failures, there is always something that works in each painting and usually something I can learn from or use in another painting. Besides I am always perfectly happy with my own experience, to me what matters the most is the quality of the whole process, not only the outcome.

What brought you to be an artist?

I have always been an artist, I was born that way. I don’t know any other way!

” Liz Motta performed this week’s Meet Your Neighbor interview. For suggestions, please email, subject neighbor.


The work of Michele de Braganca at or pet portraits work at

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