Thursday, December 13, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Michael Ireland

St. Joseph Hospital, Mt. Sterling, KY
Michael Ireland, highly sought watercolorist and landscape artist, shares that when he finds a material he likes, he sticks to it.  And, so it is true with his brush collection, some of which are over 30 years old.  

Michael has found the same to be true in all of his tools, and he chooses those which serve his style, art and habits the best, in paints, surfaces, and brushes.  But, Michael also believes that the tools can only do so much, it is the passion and emotion behind them that create the art.

3 panels each 4' x 7' in process
Michael has been an artist his entire life, studying painting at the American Academy of Art in Chicago under Irving Shapiro.  When he found watercolor that first year, he explains that it just overtook him, and he never looked back.  Both the dynamic and delicate nature of watercolor proves it to be tough to master, but it continues to enamor Michael and push his work to levels other watercolorists have not considered.
single panel 4'x 7' in process

His large scale works and grids of many small paintings together are unusual from a watercolorist, drawing commissions from across the nation.

It was his desire to go larger and larger as a watercolorist that led him to finding a niche in selling to hospital waiting rooms, a place that needs the transcendence his art provides.  This transcendence is not only felt when Michael's art is approached, but it is also the place he goes as an artist in the creation process:  "those moments when you don't realize you're painting anymore and something just takes over, and over time you can recognize it. . . not force it but let it in," he explains.  His art provides that hope, beauty and transcendence to something better, but also stays quiet -- waiting for the viewer, something needed in hospital waiting rooms. 

Mayo Clinic Installation
In Michael's work, he uses a variety of brushes to work quickly in washes and remove color if needed.  One of his favorites is a 3" flat sable, which is needed on his 4' x 8' panels.  The smaller 1" number 12 brushes, both flats and rounds are for the details and pulling up color if desired. 

Michael will have a show opening in May 2013 at Robert Morris University's State Street Gallery in Chicago, IL.  A large 30,000 square foot gallery to fill himself, it is sure to be a wonderful opening, showing completely new work.  To keep up with his shows and to see more of Michael's work, visit his website:  www.irelandwatercolors.com  

Keep Painting, 
Karyn 

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.