Organizations* : AOA
Michael Stack was born in New York and raised in California, exhibiting a love and a flair for art at an early age. He is primarily a self-taught artist, although Western artist Duane Bryers showed Stack a variety of techniques and assisted in Stack’s artistic development. An invitation to take care of a friends ranch in Patagonia, Arizona, brought Stack to the Southwest. His enchantment with the landscape was immediate, and he decided to remain in the area, purchasing land in nearby Sonita. The artist now resides in Tucson, Arizona, a town surrounded by mountain ranges and desert.
Stack seeks to capture on canvas the vastness of the Southwestern landscape. His work focuses on the fleeting moment of shadow, light and color that awakens an emotional response in the viewer. Indeed, perhaps it would be more appropriate to call Stack a painter of skyscapes, rather than landscapes. In the majority of his works, the landscape is often experienced against the endlessly varied skies and wide-open spaces of the Southwest. The essential character of the southwestern terrain is conveyed with great skill and sensitivity, as well as an obvious love of the land. Magnificent cumulus clouds tower over high desert plains, brilliant sunsets of orange and violet are reflected in meandering streams, and rain pours onto yellow bluffs from angry storm clouds shot through with the rays of the sun. In the painstakingly constructed layers of translucent paint, the artist captures a moment in the ever-changing panorama of the southwest.
Stack’s paintings are never mere reproductions of nature. Instead, the artist says, “I try to create a sense of peace, of being there. I try to convey the emotion of the landscape, to put something of me in it. And I like painting the sky because it gives me a sense of freedom.”
Stack’s paintings are included in collections in the United States, Europe and Japan. His work has appeared on the covers of both Southwest Art and Art of the West as the featured artist. In August of 1992, Southwest Art stated “Michael Stack has catapulted his reputation into the skies. His success as a painter stems from skillful renderings of deliriously sunny back-drops silhouetting the Santa Cruz Mountains or haunting blue-gray moonlight diffused over the Rio Grande.” Stack has also been featured in various other national and local publications.
In the fall of 1997, Stack was inducted as a Master Artist for the Artist of America show sponsored by the Denver Rotary. In 1996 he was named the Tucson Artist of the Year, the twenty-fourth to be so honored. He exhibits regularly at the annual Prix de West, held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the Masters of the American West Show at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, California.