How you can reach me:
email: mike at mike-west dot com
I began with a pencil and learned to draw what I could see. I bought paints, developed an eye for colour and struggled with water/pigment ratios. From the old masters, I discovered how the secrets of light and shadow make things look three dimensional. I painted places I visited, live models in the studio, bowls of fruit, vases of flowers and musical instruments. Art represented reality - literally.
But, I felt there should be more to art than just copying things laid before me. So, studying design and composition I edited the real world, searching for a style I could call my own. One degree of freedom led to another and progressively, colour, distortions and exaggerations enabled my expression. Art represented reality – abstractly.
Slowly, letting go of places and people and things, I instead concentrated on my life and experiences, how I felt and how to express ideas with paint. Focusing now, more on the process than the outcome, my concern is for the image developing before me. Vision is not just an optical process, what we see is translated by memories, experiences and emotions. We respond to art at a subconscious level, we feel art as much as see it.
My painting today is about creating something from nothing, something unique and personal. Not seeing anything recognizable in an image frees one to see it for just what it is and decide how to feel about it. Art represents reality – mine.