Living near Chichester on the South Coast of England, Michael gets a lot of his inspiration from the sea – looking at it, painting it and sailing upon it. His influences include Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Winslow Homer and Edgar Degas. Michael has a degree in Graphic Design and studied at both St Albans and then Canterbury College of Art.
For Michael, drawing is the scaffolding needed to construct a painting. He tries to keep his technique simple, using one brushstroke or mark instead of many, and he doesn’t worry about splatter or bleed. They make his images unique. Michael pushes the boundaries of the medium by painting at much larger formats than most other artists.
Immediacy and freshness are strong characteristics in Michael’s work, and he tries to establish a connection with the subject that’s felt in the image. His portraits are much in demand, but he also does still life and nature, and creates plenty of amazing paintings of yachts in full sail.
Question: Do you have any formal design training? Michael: Yes, St Albans School of Art and Canterbury College of Art and Design. Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Michael: I was encouraged to hone what was considered a talent. Question: Where do you live? Michael: The South Coast near Chichester, West Sussex. Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Michael: In the eaves above my garage at home. Question: Describe the view from your studio window? Michael: Looking west towards an old Sussex barn and North towards the South Downs across farmland. Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Michael: The Sea. Question: Do you collect anything? Michael: The odd pebble. Question: Do you keep a scrapbook? Michael: No. Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Michael: Sailing. Painting.
Question: Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed. Michael: My book 'YACHT'. Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Michael: Travel reportage. Question: Who is/are your illustration hero/es? Michael: Goya, Haro Hodson, Edward Ardizzone. Emma Chichester Clarke. Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Michael: A Sailor or a Woodsman perhaps. Question: How do you think a friend, or professor who knows you well would describe you? Michael: A triumph of lazyness over talent. Question: If you could take a holiday leaving tomorrow, where would you go & what would you do? Michael: Sailing in the Caribbean. Question: If you won the lottery what would you do with the money? Michael: I have two young daughters to support. And I love Classic Yachts. Question: If you could travel back in time which period would you visit & why? Michael: This is with my Lottery winnings. 19th Century to sail before the age of steam. Question: And who would be the one person you would want to meet? Michael: James Abbot McNeil Whistler.
The National Portrait Gallery, The Bank Of England, The Times, The Sunday Times, L.I.F.F.E, The Masterworks Foundation in BermudaFavourites
: Any corner in Rome
: National Portrait Gallery
: Good Paper!
: The French House
: The Jane Hotel NYC