Growing up outside of Cleveland Ohio in a musical family, My Mom and Dad provided 4 curious children with a strong appreciation for the joy of creative effort, and the value of art and music and art in the human experience. For this, and much more I will always be grateful.
A National Scholastics Art Scholarship winner, and Honors graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, I have spent my professional life as a portrait artist, illustrator, graphic designer, art director and for 15 years as co-founder and creative director of Successories Inc. Having accomplished all I wanted to in the commercial art world, it was time for me to embark on a new journey…the journey of an artist whose expressions are more personal, and directed only from within.
Over the last 14 years, my wife and I had traveled often to New Mexico, and during these trips, I became inspired by the range and density of color found in the texture of the high desert landscape. On one of these trips, my wife and I were standing on an overlook outside of Chimayo New Mexico, and we saw the most incredible sunset we’d ever seen. Reaching down and picking up a handfull of red earth, I began rubbing it between my fingers, and felt as if I could feel the sunset in my hands. For me, it was like seeing the world through new eyes. At that moment, the earth felt like soft pastels. As soon as I got home to my studio, I ordered a set of the finest soft pastels I could find and began working furiously with the medium for almost 2 years. This solidified my feelings for the medium, and allowed me to express with color in ways I could only dream about in the past.
In the last 8 years I have been enjoying much success exhibiting in art shows, galleries and art festivals around the country, showing and selling my ‘abstract impressionist’ landscapes. This success and the face to face relationships I am able to
develop with my collectors’ inspires me to paint even more enthusiastically than before. The relationship I have developed with the medium of soft pastels is one that I get from no other medium, and when I am working, it feels as if I am painting with the earth itself.
My landscape and Abstract impressions all come from simple memories of moments and places, and are all created with a spirit of joy.
On a more personal note, I am the proud father of a warm-hearted 19 year old girl named Taylor whose passion is anything having to do with animals. Cassandra my wife, creative companion, and best friend has been my inspiration since 1989, and we live in Wheaton Illinois with our Greyhound ‘Titleist’. Our Pugs ‘Waldo’ and ‘Winston’ passed away last year leaving us with 15 years of love and fond memories.
To learn more about Michael, please visit michaelmckeegallery.com.