Sensitivity & Beauty - November 5 - 28
Mike’s artwork is an opportunity to share his vision of the world with the viewer. He is fascinated with nature, both flora and fauna. Most of the times the impression is expressed in a realistic rendering of an animal, flower or scene; at other times, it is an abstract work. The medium most often chosen by him is acrylic on canvas or board. When Mike wants to work in three dimensions, he is drawn to exotic woods where he works them into originally designed keepsake or jewelry boxes. For him, there is a magic in each piece of wood he holds in his hands. Mike states that at this point in his life, he is driven more to express each new exciting object as he finds them, rather than exploiting a single style or direction. While he is considered self-taught, he has spent much time and energy studying art, artist, and methodologies.
When Mike was younger he was most influenced by the old masters, especially Michelangelo, Reuben, and fantasy artists Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo. More recently he is inspired by wildlife artist Carl Brenders, Robert Bateman, and George Mclean. He also enjoys the art of impressionist like Paul Cezanne and Henri Matisse.
Mike grew up in southern Missouri on a dairy and chicken farm. As long as he can remember, he has spent much of his free time drawing or painting. Perhaps growing up on a farm and being surrounded by nature made an early and lasting impression. Mike’s adult career began as an artist for Hallmark Cards. During his 41year career at Hallmark, he held various positions until retiring in 2010. For many years, his artwork took a backseat to raising a family. In retirement, he has been able to devote full-time to creating art. Early in his art career Mike did a lot of commission portrait work and some landscapes. For the last few years, he and his wife have had the opportunity to travel widely which has allowed him to see many of his subjects in their natural setting. He likes to take photographs as references for many of his paintings. With so many beautiful places and fascinating animals, Mike suspects he will never have enough time to paint them all. As a side note, the unusual spelling of his first name, Michiael, is the way his parents spelled it; for simplicity in daily interaction he uses the more traditional spelling of Michael.