Palo Alto, CA
Michael grew up in Umpqua Valley in rural Oregon. Out of high school, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and did a tour in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged and attended Umpqua Community College and Brigham Young University, graduating with a BFA. Michael developed chronic PTSD symptoms and began to receive support from the Vietnam Veterans program in Menlo Park, CA.
After graduating from the VA’s year-long support program, Michael took a position as an Art Director for 3Com Corporation's’ “Connect Magazine.” He continued as a freelance illustrator and designer and in 1988 was accepted into the San Francisco Society of Illustrators.
Michael won 1st place in the Veterans National Creative Arts Festival and was invited to Washington D.C. As a result, his work hung in the Senate Rotunda for a week and he was able to visit the Vietnam Veteran’s memorial with a group of other veterans which was extremely meaningful for him. He writes “There are many disabled veterans, men and women across the country, using the creative arts for their recovery. I was motivated to continue developing as an artist”.
Michael enjoys photography, watercolors, and figure drawing. An interesting fact about Michael is that when he first started working in watercolors (and winning awards for his art) he had never had any formal training in watercolor technique! Since then he has taken a variety of art classes including figure drawing and other creative watercolor painting classes as he feels that each class works together to inform his practice in a new way. Michael creates art every day as part of his practice as an important aspect of his personal and artistic growth along with a supportive community around him. He writes “I am very happy to be on that road of discovery and a path of recovery.”
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