As a small boy living in the suburbs of Chicago, Michael’s Grandma and Aunt would go over to his home, and along with his Mother, sit at the kitchen table teaching themselves to paint in oils. He has fond memories standing by them, mesmerized by the beauty they created with paint. As the years passed, their paintings filled the walls of their homes that Michael loved to admire throughout his life. However, as time would have it, these three ladies left this Earth but their paintings still remain. They passed their paints and brushes on to Michael. He has them in his studio, still in the green vase his grandmother used, next to his easel.
Married with two daughters, Michael and his wife designed and built a small home of rock and wood in the mountains of Western North Carolina on 7 acres of land. The property adjoins a watershed of 20 plus thousand acres where no one is allowed to build or walk on. Needless to say, the “natives” that walked the land long before they built their home would come to pay a visit. One of those being the Black Bear. Michael’s paintings are about peaceful coexistence. The Black Bear has been his teacher.
Currently Michael, his wife Shanda, and their dog Cody are peacefully coexisting with all the natives that visit their home, including the bears. He continues to develop and deepen his relationship with them and expresses these experiences through his art.