Traditional oil painter of unpeopled Western landscapes, born in Livingston, Montana near Yellowstone Park in 1941 and 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 accountancy. 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.”
Resource: Contemporary Western Artists, by Peggy and Harold Samuels 1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C.