Michael’s past works have always been very detailed pieces and very labor intensive. One day he volunteered to observe a children’s art class led by his wife, Juliana, an elementary school art teacher. It was an enlightening experience for him to see the freedom and expression children have with no pre-conception of what something should look like. A child might make the sky purple and the grass orange. These children were having fun producing simple artworks using only crayons, tempura paint, oil pastels and other basic supplies. While there he was invited to join their class and share in their fun. Using their simple art supplies and recycling scraps of paper already disposed of, he created some of his most expressive and colorful works. A series of animal forms were created that were abstract and designed in color. The animal in its camouflaged surroundings exists just as it does in the natural world. Using a simple line drawing, then working with the line to create flowing forms and shapes between the background and image, he then used tracing paper to cut out a template within the line drawing. He created various papers and shapes from the template. The papers were done with oil pastels, tempura paint, crayons and tissue paper. The paint was worked freely with overlapping colors with thick brush strokes while dripping and splashing paint to create vibrant hues and patterns. The result was a renewed freedom of expression that has led to a new series of artworks that will be offered for sale through the Dolly G. Arts Network across the country.
Note: Michael receives inspiration for his magical designs from the special needs children he teaches as a volunteer, especially those with autism.