While growing up in St. Louis, Michael Meyer began drawing after a second grade class assignment awakened his innate artistic abilities. His 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) Michael has since had many influential experiences, but very little formal training. He’s primarily taught himself to draw and paint by observing the world around him, along with the work of more accomplished artists. He does credit several of his high school and college teachers for providing direction in those early years, along with a neighbor, who gave him her American Artist magazines. During high school, Michael won first place each year at the annual shows, and he was awarded the Senior Art Award at graduation. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Art Educationat Southeast Missouri State University. After college, he held several commercial art positions and worked his way up to Art Director. At the same time, he pursued freelance work with Hallmark, and many publishing companies. At an early age he was promoted Vice President for a small publishing company in St. Louis. During the next thirty plus years, he held a series of senior management positions in the publishing industry, which resulted in relocating to Kansas City, Toronto and Chicago. Although, his work career was far afield from the art world, he continued to paint at every opportunity and would occasionally show his work at art shows and galleries. In 2005, he began taking portrait classes taught by Richard Halstead, a renowned portrait artist. Richard provided him with many insights that helped elevate his skills. He became involved in plein air painting with the Chicago Plein Air Painters. In 2009, he took a plein air workshop with Scott Tallman Powers, who is one of the best plein air painters he’s seen. Michael currently belongs to New Mexico Plein Air Painters and part of a local group that paints weekly around the area. In 2010, Michael and his wife Beth, moved from Chicago to New Mexico where they purchased a small publishing business. This new venture has provided him more time to paint along with a wealth of inspiring subjects. Interesting faces and the human form have always inspired his work, however, in recent years he’s also focused more on landscape subjects. Painting on location is energizing and challenging. The results are typically finished in his studio. Michael has also spent more time with oils recently, but still likes to return to watercolor. Although each requires a different approach and skill set, he finds one helps him with the other. He loves to paint the human face and form. He is especially drawn to the rugged, lined faces that offer a glimpse into an interesting life. He also enjoys depicting the beauty and grace of a young woman. He tries 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. Michael painted fantasy subjects in the 70’s & 80’s. He still have ideas that could turn into new fantasy works at some point.
- Sonata Kazimieraitiene
- Rolando Fernandez