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.