Artist Background

While growing up in St. Louis, I began drawing after a second grade class assignment awakened my innate artistic abilities. My new interest in art was soon reinforced with a Jon Gnagy drawing set for Christmas. (Jon Gnagy was one of the first TV artists in the '50s) I have since had many influential experiences, but very little formal training. I have primarily taught myself to draw and paint by observing the world around me, along with the work of more accomplished artists. I do credit several of my high school and college teachers for providing direction in those early years, along with a neighbor, who gave me her American Artist magazines.

During high school I won first place each year at the annual shows, and I was awarded the Senior Art Award at graduation. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Art Educationat Southeast Missouri State University. After college, I held several commercial art positions and worked my way up to Art Director. At the same time, I pursued freelance work with Hallmark, and many publishing companies.

At an early age I was promoted Vice President for a small publishing company in St. Louis. During the next thirty plus years, I held a series of senior management positions in the publishing industry, which resulted in relocating to Kansas City, Toronto and Chicago. Although, my work career was far afield from the art world, I continued to paint at every opportunity and would occasionally show my work at art shows and galleries.

In 2005, I began taking portrait classes taught by Richard Halstead, a renowned portrait artist. Richard provided me with many insights that helped elevate my skills.

I became involved in plein air painting with the Chicago Plein Air Painters. In 2009, I took a plein air workshop with Scott Tallman Powers, who is one of the best plein air painters I have seen. I recommend that you take a look at Scott's work: http://scottpowersfineart.com/. I currently belong to New Mexico Plein Air Painters and part of a local group that paints weekly around the area.

In 2010, my wife Beth, and I moved from Chicago to New Mexico where we purchased a small publishing business. This new venture has provided me more time to paint along with a wealth of inspiring subjects.

SUBJECT MATTER & MEDIUMS

Interesting faces and the human form have always inspired my work, however, in recent years I have also focused more on landscape subjects. Painting on location is energizing and challenging. The results are typically finished in my studio. I have also spent more time with oils recently, but still like to return to watercolor. Although each requires a different approach and skill set, I find one helps me with the other.

I love to paint the human face and form. I am especially drawn to the rugged, lined faces that offer a glimpse into an interesting life. I also enjoy depicting the beauty and grace of a young woman. I try to find subjects that have a lot of character; someone you would be compelled to observe if they walked by. Perhaps their face tells a story in itself.

I painted fantasy subjects in the 70's & 80's. I still have ideas that could turn into new fantasy works at some point.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Please feel free to contact me with questions or if you would like to be on our mailing list: mike@meyersart.com.