After leaving Art School with a Fine Art Degree, Michael moved to North Norfolk. At this time he painted landscapes mainly in watercolour and became a well-known local artist.
As he began to travel more in Europe his painting style evolved and he worked a lot more in oils, sometimes on much larger canvasses. He painted in Sienna, Florence and Paris and became more interested in texture and strongly contrasting light and shadow.
He then spent a year living in Bangkok, working in watercolour and charcoal as well as oils. The work was vibrant, with bold strokes of charcoal, usually on paper.
He won a prize in the Laing competition and his work was chosen for the Royal Institute of Oil Painters annual exhibition in the Mall Galleries.
Michael then moved to the South of France, drawn by the light and atmosphere and set up a studio in Valbonne. He continued to exhibit in England but now also showed his work in Monaco, St Paul de Vence and Antibes. Café scenes, crumbling plaster walls and his portrayal of the architectural forms of plane trees became his hallmarks. By now many publishers had reproduced his paintings as fine art cards and limited edition prints.
After six years of living abroad, Michael had a strong desire to return to England and put down his roots: “I felt a real urge to return to the UK where I now have two studios: one in Norfolk, and one in Cornwall. Both counties inspire me for different reasons and I enjoy the challenges both landscapes offer me. It is from my Cornish studio that new techniques have emerged, which have filtered through into my Norfolk landscapes. Mixed media techniques, on both canvas and paper, using a more impasto style together with texture over-painted with washes and translucent glazes help describe foreground detail and texture without becoming too illustrative.
From the moment I could walk I held a paint brush, and all these years later I’m still holding it and making a living as an artist. Painting has always been a kind of spiritual crutch for me – always there to rely on. I paint almost every day – of course I take holidays but am always desperate to get back to my paints.”