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 Eric Michaels  (1949 - )

About: Eric Michaels
 

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Lived/Active: Colorado/New Mexico/Illinois      Known for: frontier genre, village, water and landscape painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Living in Trinidad, Colorado, Eric Michaels is a plein-air landscape painter of Southwestern and European subjects using watercolors, pastels and primarily oils.

He was raised in the Midwest and earned a degree in fine art and spent several years as a social worker with the Department of Welfare in Rockford, Illinois. He had both music and art talent, and played guitar with performing groups. He is now a full-time painter, and his wife, Maxine is his business manager, shipper, and framer. The couple lived in Santa Fe before settling in Trinidad.

Some of Michaels' projects are huge including a 12 painting project on the history of El Paso, Texas, and three large paintings on the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Source:
Art of the West magazine

Biography from Brandon Michael Fine Art:
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of Eric Michaels’ work is its international flavor. The subject matter spans four continents and both hemispheres.  Painting in these various locations enables him to achieve an understanding of local light conditions and to participate in the native experience.

Michaels was born and raised in Illinois.  As a young boy, he cultivated an early appreciation for music and art.  He spent a great deal of time drawing sports figures and Disney characters, and studying guitar with an old vaudeville banjo player.  With the folk scene booming in the sixties, Michaels paid his way through college teaching guitar and performing in coffeehouses.  After graduating with a B.F.A. in art, his wanderlust got the best of him, so he grabbed his guitar and took off across North America.  For three years, he played clubs, coffeehouses and universities from Alaska to Mexico.  As the folk scene ebbed in the seventies, Michaels decided to pursue a new musical venue.  He began studying classical guitar at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  In 1983, on a music tour through the southwest, he and his wife passed through Santa Fe and decided to stay.

The size and strength of the Santa Fe art community surprised Michaels, and within a year he decided to give up his music performances to concentrate on his art.  He did a small bit of commercial illustration to help pay the bills, and, shortly thereafter, had enough viable galleries to begin making a living in fine art.

Michaels still loves to travel.  His art has taken him to exotic destinations in Africa, Europe, Central America and Indonesia.  He also loves to paint the rich culture and landscapes of the region surrounding his home in Trinidad, Colorado.

Michaels has exhibited at the Royal Watercolour Society in London, nine years in the Artists of America Show in Denver, and is a regular exhibitor in the Great American Artists Exhibition in Cincinnati.  His paintings hang in private, corporate, museum and state collections; including the Albuquerque Museum of Fine Art, the Americana Museum, the Institute of American Indian Arts, Phillips Petroleum, IBM, Honeywell-Sperry Inc., and the State Collection of the Governor’s Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.

Michaels is a signature member of the Oil Painters of America, National Watercolor Society and the Pastel Society of America.


Biography from Morris & Whiteside Galleries:
Born and raised in Illinois, Eric Michaels began his artistic journey by drawing sports figures and Disney characters.  His love of drawing, however, was shared with a love of music; specifically the guitar.  Paying his way through college by teaching guitar lessons and playing in coffee houses, Michaels left college with a BFA and a desire to travel.

Wandering across the west, Michaels earned his living playing music.  He eventually began studying classical guitar at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and while on a music tour through the southwest, Michaels and his wife found themselves in Santa Fe.  Enamored with the city, they decided to stay.  The size of the visual art community there surprised Michaels, and he was soon putting down his guitar to pick up a paint brush full time.

Never losing his love of travel, Michaels has painted the landscapes of Africa, Europe, Central America, and Indonesia.  His work has appeared in Art of the West and Art- Talk publications.  He is a signature member of the Oil Painters of America, the National Watercolor Society and the Pastel Society of America.

Michaels currently lives and works in Trinidad, Colorado.

Biography from Artistic Gallery:
Eric Michaels was born and raised in Illinois.  As a young boy, he cultivated an early appreciation for both music and art.  He studied guitar with a former vaudeville banjo player while also amusing himself drawing sports figures and Disney characters.  He went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and to study classical guitar at the San Francisco Conservatory.

In 1983, Michaels and his wife passed through Santa Fe on a musical tour of the southwest.  They were so impressed by the size and strength of the art community there, the couple decided to move there.  Eric gave up his musical career and devoted himself to art full-time.  More than 20 years later, Michaels has achieved prominent status in the American art scene, and is perhaps best known for the distinctive international flavor of his subject matter, which spans four continents and both hemispheres.

His paintings hang in private, corporate, museum and state collections.  He is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America, the Oil Painters of America, and the National Watercolor Society.

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Eric Michaels is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Painters of Grand Canyon

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