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 Michael L. Coleman  (1941 - )

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Lived/Active: Arizona/Montana      Known for: western landscape

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Ad Code: 4
Michael L Coleman
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born and raised in Livingston, Montana near Yellowstone National Park, Michael Coleman paints serene western landscapes that are realistic but convey personal emotion. He signs his paintings "M.L." to minimize confusion with his contemporary, Michael Coleman of Utah.

His father was a forest ranger, which gave him much appreciation for his natural surroundings which he began painting as a youngster. In college, hating non-objective art, he majored in accounting to avoid the pressure of teachers pushing a style that seemed inappropriate for him. He was in the Army for two years and then spent eight years with a public accounting firm while painting in the evenings. In 1975, he moved to Denver and in 1982 to Bremerton, Washington, making  his home in Sedona, Arizona a few years later.

Sources include:
Peggy and Harold Samuels, "Contemporary Western Artists"

Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, I:
A traditional oil painter of unpeopled Western landscapes, M.L. Coleman was born in Livingston, Montana near Yellowstone Park in 1941 and has been living in Bremerton, Washington since 1982.

“The ideal landscape,” he believes, “is one that strikes a balance between reality and emotion, between observation and pictorial treatment, thereby capturing and expressing an eternalized moment in time. A painting should communicated an inner state, a yearning, a fantasy, a feeling independent of the subject of the painting, yet aroused by the reality of it.”

Raised in Yellowstone Park where his father was a ranger, he was painting the landscape while in grade school. On the college level, however, the accent was on non-objective art so he earned a degree in accounting. After two years in the Army, he spent eight years with a public accounting firm, painting and studying art in his spare time.

In 1973, he moved to Montana, consulting on accounting and painting evenings, but he returned to Denver in 1975. The next year, he moved back to Montana to be a professional painter, signing himself “M.L.” to minimize confusion with Utah’s Michael Coleman.

He believes that his youth in Yellowstone taught him “to see nature with the same interest and intensity that a portrait painter would study a face.” He sees no problem in switching from the science of accountancy to the emotion of painting, saying that “in my art I am primarily concerned with selecting and reorganizing nature according to my feelings. ‘Creating’ is over used and abused. Most artists don’t really create very much.”

"Contemporary Western Artists", by Peggy and Harold Samuels, 1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C.

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Michael Coleman is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Painters of Grand Canyon

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