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As an artist, I work hard to create seascapes that speak to me and to others about the Pacific Northwest coast. Painting the ocean for me is both reflective and contemplative. I am a storm-watcher and get a thrill of seeing waves crash. I believe this is when you can feel the energy of the ocean at its best. During my visits along the coast, I study the ocean, observe the sky, the reflections of light on the waves and on the rocky shores.
What appeals to me most about painting the ocean is that it is never the same, constantly challenging me to capture a fleeting moment. I like to paint in oil and start with studies of seascape photos that I had taken onsite and from drawings of my experiences. My palette is composed of blues, purples, greens, siennas, umbers and pale yellows. I'll employ rags, various brushes, palette knives, and even brush handles to achieve an effect. Sometimes, I will paint a scene from memory, inspired by a certain color, the way light was shining on rocks, or something that serendipitously captured my attention. I will paint larger paintings in my studio, here in Lynnwood. When I am inspired, I have to paint. Inspiration comes from my soul. Some days I can just loose myself and paint for hours into the morning, with little or no breaks. It's a journey when I paint, and almost a mystical experience, running on automatic similar to an athlete being in the zone.
Moreover, I find that the best time for me to paint is when it's raining or storming. When I hear raindrops or wind as I paint, I'll stay focused and concentrate on the outcome of the painting. I want the viewer of my paintings to feel the ocean mist, the wind, the temperature, the sounds, and experience a spiritual connection to the ocean. My current paintings reflect a body of work where I had gone through an unsettled period of reflection, and needed to express how I felt on canvas. Every brush stroke is purposeful and deliberate. Brush strokes convey my passion for life and thrill of the oil media. Painters who have influenced me include masters such as Winslow Homer, William Trost Richards, and Claude Monet. I am always learning something new about myself every time when I paint.
Michael's paintings hang in numerous private collections. He began his art career at the age of 13 in Chicago having won awards in local and national art competitions, studying under nationally acclaimed impressionist painter Jo Ciulla. He has a BS degree from DePaul University and Masters degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago.
2016 Lynnwood Convention Center, WA, Curated by Schack Art Center