Michael’s work has been described as expressive, bordering on abstract but with the landscape ever present in his large and impactful paintings. He works in a vibrant array of mixed media including oil, pencil, charcoal, pastels and ink, building an expressive and vital world of colour and light with multiple layers and textures on the canvas. He regularly paints on location, which finds influences his palette because the colours of the landscape are so immediate and bright. Working outside also has an impact on the final composition, with the piece becoming more representative, whereas painting in the studio results in more abstract work. In preparation for each painting, Michael creates a portfolio of photographs and sketches as well as committing the colours and the quality of light to memory before returning to his studio. He says: "My work is like a collage of different elements brought together to create one landscape."
Michael grew up on the Suffolk coast, citing the ever-changing views of the North Sea as a huge influence on his young mind. He went on to study art and art history at the University of Lancaster and although painting was a huge part of his life from the beginning, he started to “reluctantly” climb the corporate ladder, eventually becoming Global Communication Director for an international firm based in Paris. This high flying position involved extensive travel, and the extremely creative organisation continuously fed his mind with ideas and inspiration that were grist to his creative mill. Every year the company hosted an exhibition in Paris which Michael participated in, and in 2010, he decided the time had come to quit corporate life and focus full time on painting. He has never looked back.
Michael is now based in South West France. He loves to head over to the Mediterranean coast – mainly Montpellier – where the light is famously extraordinary. He also travels regularly to Dubai and Italy where he sets up pop up studios, and has a penchant for any coastal areas, particularly the Algarve, as he finds the combination of the ocean and the light inspirational. In 2014 he spent three months painting in Australia where he set up a studio in Sydney, and he is currently planning a second trip.
Michael’s work hangs in private collections in Europe, The Middle East, The US and Australia and he has undertaken commissions for many prestigious companies, notably Risk Capital Partners who have one of his paintings hanging in the boardroom of their corporate office in Mayfair. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) since 2014 and has an on-going residency with BPD (British Polo Day).
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