June 18, 2014

Prix De West 2014

I've heard so many positive things about Prix De West that I decided to go this year and see what it is all about.  I was so impressed with the show and excited to meet some of the artist that I admire most.

Morgan Weistling has been hugely influential in helping me develop my style and he was so nice to visit with. My wife and I really enjoyed his paintings.

Susan Meyer from The Meyer Gallery was the one who really encouraged me to go and was kind enough to introduce me to many of the artists. We had a lot of fun together too. 

The last night we got to see a real live art auction by real life cowboys. It was very entertaining! A great experience all around. I hope some day to be a part if that show!

September 8, 2013

My Giant Train Painting for ArtPrize 2013

I have been working on an 8 ft tall by 20 ft wide painting of a vintage steam locomotive train entitled "The Standoff". The painting depicts a massive machine that is stopped in its tracks by a humorous twist of nature. The underlying narrative is how we as mankind are faced with unforeseen challenges and how we overcome them. 

This coming week I will be transporting this piece 1500 miles across country to Michigan to participate in ArtPrize 2013 - the largest art competition in the world! I am honored to have been invited to participate and excited about the challenge of painting the largest piece I have ever painted. This 2 minute video explains what I am doing and includes a time lapse of the painting so far.

I am looking for backers to support me in this massive undertaking and have set up a project through kickstarter. When you pledge, there are a number of rewards including prints of my work, original paintings and the thing I am most excited about is the opportunity for your name (or company name) to be included in the final painting. 

To see the details or to pledge visit - 

 If you are able to support this project, or pass the word along, I would greatly appreciate it!

April 18, 2013

Attention Artists: Pursue your dream, no matter the obstacles

Editor's Note: The following is taken from the Daily Herald column and is a guest post from the Artist Santiago Michalek's wife Elizabeth…
The first time I saw one of my husband’s drawings I knew instantly that he was very talented. I was absolutely blown away by how he had taken a blank piece of paper and given it life. We were very young, very in love, and had no idea what our future would hold. But, we took the marriage plunge and the life of an aspiring artist began for us.
I spent the first decade of our married life watching my husband unsuccessfully try to force himself into the mainstream expectations for education and career. He always knew what he loved to do, he wanted to be an artist, but after flunking out of college and getting fired from a few different entry-level jobs, we both resigned ourselves to the fact that he would only ever be able to pursue his art on the side and that he needed a “real job” to provide for our family. Preferably one with paid holidays and benefits. 
Now looking back over the last few years I can see the amazing sequence of events that has convinced me that that type of thinking was nothing more than a waste of time and energy. It was only when we made some big sacrifices and took several giant leaps of faith that his passion and success in a career fell in line with each other.
I think Steve Jobs said it perfectly:
“The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
For some reason there is a stigma about pursuing a career in the arts. Whether it’s painting, sculpting, music, or writing. A negative assumption that you can’t possibly make a living from such interests.  I get all sorts of comments from well-meaning people when I tell them my husband is an artist. And for the record, no, we don’t subsist on a diet mostly of Ramen Noodles.
Santiago is a real life success story of pursuing what you love first and foremost, and then creating a living from the very thing that makes you happy.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a long, hard journey with plenty of moments where I wasn’t the supportive wife that I strive to be. But, I’m now convinced anyone with a strong desire, who is willing to work, can do the same. I wish I could put my arm around anyone who is starting a similar journey and be an encouraging influence along their path. Really it’s worth it – take the plunge and do what you love!
Through an Artist's Eye is written by Santiago Michalek, a Utah Valley artist who is passionate about everything vintage. Santiago and Elizabeth have been married for 12 years and have 2 aspiring artists. Follow Santiago on Facebook and check out his blog for more information on upcoming events and contests.

January 4, 2013

Lately In My Studio

Over the next couple of days (with the help of my amazing family and friends) I will be packing up my studio and heading out for my next show at the Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale, Arizona. As always, right before a show I am painting day and night to get ready and only stopping to eat or sleep when absolutely necessary. But it's been worth it and I am really excited about this body of work and the expansion of my subject matter into the world of vintage boats.

Here are some shots from my studio with paintings at various stages of completion.

If you are in Arizona I hope you will stop by!

Celebration Of Fine Art
Scottsdale, AZ
Located in the SW corner of Hayden Rd 
and Loop 101 off of exit 35.
Look for the big white tents.

Jan 12th - Mar 24th 2013

Check out last year's move and booth set up here.

December 21, 2012

Artistic Excellence 2012 Competition

I was very honored to win 2nd place in the Artistic Excellence Competition this year and for the feature in the December issue of Southwest Art for my piece 'It's Time'. This piece is a self portrait and one of the most significant pieces I have painted thus far. It represents the point in my life where I knew it was time to close VW restoration business and pursue my art full-time.

Here is the article that was featured in the magazine:
What inspired your winning entry? I had a business restoring Volkswagen buses for about 10 years. That’s why I began painting them. Before that, I was pretty committed to painting the figure. Although I love painting my VW buses, I really wanted to create a painting that allowed me to return to my figurative roots. It was a simple idea that evolved into something much more. I had an image in my mind of what I wanted, and it made sense to use myself as a reference for the figure. As I painted it, I realized it was not only a self-portrait but also depicted one of the most defining moments of my life. The title, IT’S TIME, refers to the decision I made to take the leap and become a full-time painter. The act of standing in front of a canvas painting, and not in a car shop working nine to five, took the personal meaning of this painting to a level I had never expected.
Where did you study art? I attended the Bridge Academy of Art in Provo, UT, for several years. However, I consider myself to be a self-taught artist, since I knew how to paint when I arrived there. So, I studied art in museums, galleries, books, in artists’ studios, and in my own studio.
How would you describe your style? I work at keeping a pretty loose mark-making stroke, knowing that what I’m looking at is a very tight, angular subject. I feel that the push/pull or balance between those two concepts is the basis for my style.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you? I am a fierce fan of the Manchester United soccer team. I also built my own 1,200-square-foot studio. It took me nine months, and it was one of the most challenging tasks of my life.
What is your pet peeve? People chewing with their mouth open or talking with a mouthful of food.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? I would be unhappy. Or a marine biologist.
What are your goals for the future? To continually improve, to avoid complacency, to push myself every day, to someday create a work of art that makes a difference to someone. Oh, and to be a good dad.
What galleries represent your work?
Meyer Gallery, Park City, UT; Walt Horton Fine Art, Beaver Creek, CO.

December 12, 2012

A Blast From The Past

While searching on a VW site today I came across some pictures that someone had posted of a restoration I did years ago of a fire bus. It was an awesome project to work on and definitely the most unique VW that I fixed up.

I loved restoring these old classics but I love painting them even more!

Popular Posts