Michele Newman is a late-diagnosed Autistic Savant (diagnosed at age 60) who has demonstrated her “natural” talent in art since Kindergarten. She sold her first oil painting and was commissioned to do an oil pastel portrait of her science teacher’s daughter at age 14. Michele completed a test for the Famous Artist Correspondence Schools when she was 14. They were so impressed with her test, that a representative came to Sheridan, WY to encourage her parents to enroll her in the course program.
Because of her “natural” savant artistic talents, she is able to work in a variety of mediums with little to no formal training. Early on, her style was perfectionistic realism and she worked almost exclusively with oils, but also had an eye for photography. Michele spent most of her professional career doing graphics & drafting in the energy/environmental industry. Feeling burned out at age 52, she resigned from doing any kind of art and gave away all her supplies & equipment. A friend recognized her talents in 2008 and spent 18 months convincing her to get back into her art. Then disabled, with a limited income, she got back into art doing pencil drawings (portraits of people & animals) and repurposed collage paintings. She also relaxed her style and became less of a realist and rigid towards perfectionism.
Though portraits are not her preferred subject matter, she seems to do a LOT of them. Michele discovered Diamond Painting in 2017 when she was exploring stitchery, fiber art & quilting. It became an immediate obsession and is her current medium of focus. Diamond Painting is a combination of counted cross stitch, mosaic & paint-by-number. Michele began creating original pieces in 2019 using counted cross stitch software and her own photography. Michele has also explored her talent in acrylics, painting every Monday afternoon at her PACE program center in Lafayette. Her art is no longer “a job” but a way of loosening up and enjoying creating with her hands; just having fun with others.
As an unknown artist, Michele hopes to get exposure as a member of the NoBo Art District and finally be able to sell some of her art or find a home for her pieces in a museum or gallery. Michele is currently trying to rebuild her exposure in social media; however, everything seems to slow down as you get older and technology has become cumbersome. Michele is currently working to update and revive her presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn and to build her artist gallery website at www.mmnewman-savant.com.