Artist Statement

"From the time I was little playing in the wooded hills around my Tennessee home to snow skiing in the Rocky Mountains to climbing massive South Carolina oaks draped in Spanish moss, my upbringing was one intimately connected with nature. It was a childhood steeped in adventure. I fell in love with discovering places and their varied moods, atmospheres, and lights. As a grown man, I have tried to retain this childlike sense of wonder in the face of nature while adding the maturity of an artist’s critical eye.

My creative process begins on location by making small plein air (“outdoor”) paintings in an effort to capture the immediacy and authenticity of being in a place. Although I spend a considerable amount of time painting outdoors, I am careful to distinguish myself from being solely a plein air artist. What I produce in the field is only a raw, honest response to my surroundings, and the majority of my creative work continues in the studio as I compose more balanced and developed works of art. I work exclusively with oil paint on linen panels and build my images through a process of layering the paint, often letting a layer rest for a month or more before reworking the painting. 

The well renowned painter and teacher Audrey Flack once said, “Great art is in exquisite balance… It is restorative.” My mission is continually to strive for this “exquisite balance” in my artwork and to create windows to the natural world that are restorative to the human spirit." -Michael Griffin