Artist Michael Friend is holding an exhibit at the Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery titled “Cities & Thickets.” It runs through July 4th.
Friend started his art career at Northern Michigan University where he earned his Masters of Art in Art Education. After thirty-five years of teaching art and filmmaking in public schools, Friend found the time and opportunity to draw on these experiences to become a producing artist.
The painter formulated a technique that draws on Seurat’s pointillism, Van Gogh’s rich use of color and his own familiarity with film animation. “I became aware of how minor changes in an image create an added vibrancy.” Friend explains, “The subtle alterations of color give dimension to the image.”
The artist creates his images by carefully painting a series of small ovals by hand. A grid pattern makes up an underlying structure so that he can concentrate on the dynamic interplay of color, pattern and form. The product is a large painting that dazzles the eye and delights the spirit.
The Artist calls this new method “dotmation”. It requires a great amount of planning and preparation and even more time in the execution. “There is often an initial misreading when people first see my work.” Friend says, “A cursory glance at my paintings causes viewers to assume that a mechanical or digital process is involved, but nothing could be farther from the truth.”
“Dotmation” is all done by hand; the color mixing, the placement, and the pattern are incredibly intensive and demanding. Every facet of the process requires a lot of hours in a day. “Sustaining the level of concentration needed involves dedication and a passion for the art.” Friend explains, “I do it for the love of the art – the exciting feel of a tapestry or weaving.” The exhibit, ‘Cities & Thickets’ debuts the culmination of over three years work.
Since 2001, the artist has been gaining confidence and fluency with his distinctive technique. The palette of colors, their mixing, the compositions, and the accrued experiences of a lifetime result in a unique and astonishing new style that only this one artist can carry out.
Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery
136 E. Main, HC 1 Box 3477, Michigamme, MI 49861
The exhibit will run from: May 24th through July 4th, 2015
In addition, there will be another artist reception & a special string concert on June 21st 2015, 2 – 4 p.m. with the Pavo String Quartet of the Superior String Alliances.
Summer Gallery Hours: Mon. through Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tues. by chance