Gaze at the art of Michelle Temares and you are immediately taken to a time of peace, hope and community. A young 1830's farmer revels in the first warmth of spring; a woman longs for home during the Civil War; a young girl imagines purchasing a new bonnet as she gazes into her dressing table mirror; Ms. Temares takes you with her as she captures intimate moments and fleeting glimpses of our 19th century past, especially those moments that have not been captured in history's visual record.

Recognition of Ms. Temares' work has come from many places. She has been called "a renowned artist" and "one of today's most popular artists" by the Decorative Artist's Book Club, "one of the best artists working today" by Creative Leisure News, and "an engrossing speaker" by F&W Publications. Her work appears on licensed products sold at major retailers throughout the US, South America and Europe. She is also a frequent exhibitor of narrative paintings and portraiture at American museums, galleries and juried shows. These exhibitions have led to numerous awards including a Silver Medal from the National Art League among many other medals and ribbons.

Ms. Temares not only paints the past - - she lives it. As a teaching artist and costumed interpreter and historian, she brings art and art techniques to thousands of people each year. She is a professor of studio art and art history at Farmingdale State College; the artist-in-residence at Old Sturbridge Village, one of the nation's foremost living history museums; and a Master Teaching Artist with Artsgenesis. She is also proud to be a teaching artist and/or teacher professional development specialist for Planting Fields State Historic Foundation; the Green-Wood Historic Trust; the New York Historical Society; the New York City Department of Education; History Meets the Arts/Adams County Arts Council Gettysburg; Elmira City Schools and Port Washington SD, to name a few.

Before becoming an illustrator and teaching artist, Ms. Temares' succeeded in the corporate world in senior creative positions including VP of Marketing for a Wall Street bank and Design Director of a major home décor company.

Ms. Temares is the author of two best selling art instruction books and over 40 illustrated magazine articles. She is a juried and elected member of the Society of Illustrators and the National Art League. Her education includes a BS from Cornell University, an MA from Syracuse University and an MFA from The University of Hartford/Hartford Art School.

Michelle in 1838
Michelle today
Artist's Statement
Michelle is a hard working girl who cares about her school work. She appears to have outstanding interest and aptitude in art.

-1st Grade Report Card, Sweet Hollow Elementary School

I fell in love with "olden times" as a child. Captivated by the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott and others, I was transported to a time that was different yet comfortably familiar. The farms and orchards that surrounded my suburban childhood home provided an immediate and tangible connection to the American past I found in books. I began to try to recreate the images I was reading about in my own drawings and paintings.

As I grew older this spark led me to a continued study of social history and inspired my drive to capture images that history had neglected. Then, as now, my interest is not in the major events of our collective past but rather the everyday moments. I believe that history doesn't just take place every few decades and in places far away, but occurs daily in our own towns and in our own homes.

My passion has only increased over time. My body of work focuses on capturing the moments that were missed. Moments that today might be recorded by a camera through candid photos but in the past were unnoticed or deemed unworthy of being recorded. Intimate fleeting moments are captured on my canvas with their enveloping emotions: hope, joy, longing and more.

These "fleeting" moments take much preparation and care to create. My creative process includes research into material culture, costume, architecture, economics, etc. I then create the scene in period settings with costumed models and period props. Sketches are created, reference photographs are taken, and the image is then painted with special care to natural lighting and the emotion that it creates.

The paintings are realized with as close to period detail and techniques as possible. The support is lead primed linen. A grisaille or under painting is created to establish values and composition. Thin glazes of oil paint are layered to create depth and character.

My biggest influences are the genre and portrait artists of 18th and 19th century America especially Gilbert Stuart, Rembrandt Peale, William Sydney Mount, Eastman Johnson and Mary Cassatt. The natural light techniques of 17th century Dutch painter, Vermeer, are also a large influence.

It is my greatest desire that when you stand before my pictures you will, for however brief a moment, be lost with me in the everyday moments of our American past.

1st Grade Report Card
Age 11, Hollie Hobby inspired