About the Artist
I was born and raised in a small town (at the time) in Utah named American Fork. I was raised in a thoroughly blue-collar family. My parents were very supportive and hands-on parents. However they were very worried when I wanted to go to college to get an art degree. Dad suggested he could get me a good job at the steel plant where he worked. (Now gone) I started out to be a fine artist my freshman year at Brigham Young University. I went from fine art to graphic design and then fell in love with industrial design. I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in that field. I had a thirty-four-year career as a trade show exhibit designer that I loved. I especially loved three dimensional design. People would ask me what I did for fun, and I’d say, “My job.”
I did oil painting as a hobby except for a fifteen-year break when life just got too busy and too demanding. After I retired, I took up art again as a hobby. After about a year, I wanted to see if I could do it professionally.
Loving art and missing three-dimensional design
I was selling my traditional paintings and prints in shows and online, but I missed doing three-dimensional design. I toyed with the idea of somehow combining three-dimensional design with painting. I did a few simple paintings using layers of glass or clear acrylic mounted in shadow boxes to see if the idea was valid. I took those paintings to a premier art show in Salt Lake City. I noticed they got a lot of attention and good reaction. In fact, these two paintings got more attention than all my other paintings combined!
When I was driving home from the show and asked myself two questions.
- “What am I doing that would differentiate my art from all the other artist?”
- " What is it about my paintings that would make collectors remember me and my art?”
I also remembered the attention my glass paintings got at the show. That’s when I knew that layered glass showed some promise.
The more I thought about it over the next several weeks, the more I knew I wanted to combine my love and skills in 3D design and my love and skills in art.
I did a lot of research and did a lot of experimenting to find out what worked with layered glass and what didn’t. I finally developed a concept that gave me the dimensions and depth that I wanted but did not break the bank with material costs. I could also now do effects that gave me the freedom to explore and see how far I could push what was possible in this media. I found the sweet spot where I’m doing what I love and painting unique sculptures that fascinate my clients and have endless possibilities.
Mike also teaches oil painting classes online and in-person. Click on the "Lessons" link in the "Other" category to check it out.