Artist of Note | Michael Meyer

A place for portraits

Michael Meyer, Barnett, oil, 30 x 40.

Michael Meyer, Barnett, oil, 30 x 40.

This story was featured in the October 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Painter Michael Meyer is always looking for an interesting face. Whether it’s the smiles of children or the tanned lines of a lifelong cowboy, the artist can find a point of interest in every face he meets. “I can remember sitting at the kitchen table and drawing my grandma at a young age,” he says. “It’s a subject I thought was the most challenging because it tests your skills and helps to improve them.”

Throughout his years of painting, Meyer has painted both commissions and personal portraits. He drew inspiration from the everyday passersby he saw on the metro system in Chicago, as well as from books and TV shows. Recently the artist began shifting from portraits to western narrative scenes, which present their own unique set of challenges. “For portraits I would go out and take a lot of photos of people,” he says. “But when you’re putting together a scene that doesn’t exist, it’s more difficult, and you need to be as accurate as you can.” Meyer works from around 20 reference photos for his historical pieces. He also attends mountain-man gatherings and Indian powwows to gather reference material.

Meyer says he hopes his classical realist style reveals the subtleties of color and emotion in each scene and each face. “I feel strongly about my subjects,” he says. “When I’m doing a western scene, I create a world that I get lost in. I hope whoever is observing finds that same feeling that I have when I am painting.” —Mackenzie McCreary

Meyer’s work can be found at Weiss Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM; Warren Fine Art & Collectibles, Albuquerque, NM; and www.meyersart.com.

This story was featured in the October 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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