Emerging Artists | Michael Clark

Slices of sunlight and shadow

Michael Clark, Autumn’s Glory, oil, 24 x 30.

Michael Clark, Autumn’s Glory, oil, 24 x 30.

This story was featured in the November 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Like many landscape artists, Colorado painter Michael Clark enjoys scouring country roads in search of inspiration—often small slices of scenery in the midst of grand panoramic views. Not long ago Clark was rolling down a rural road near Boulder, CO, when he eyed an inviting landscape in his rearview mirror. He did a quick U-turn, pulled over to the side of the road, and snapped a photograph. “The Flatirons were in the background, the landscape glowed with fall color, and the color harmonies instantly caught my eye,” Clark says.

Once back in his Denver studio with the photo as reference material, Clark created AUTUMN’S GLORY, a painting that captures the greens, golds, and oranges of a fall day in a picturesque corner of Colorado’s Front Range. Paintings like this one and LEADVILLE AFTERNOON, which depicts an old farmhouse in a historic Colorado mining town, are great examples of the artist’s loose, expressionistic style as well as his penchant for portraying intimate scenes.

Clark, 31, moved to the Denver area in 2012, trading in cloudy Michigan winters for almost year-round sunshine. But Clark also came west for the chance to be close to nature and to study at the Art Students League of Denver. Classes and workshops with Kim English, Don Sahli, Joshua Fallik, and Mark Daily supplemented his bachelor of fine arts degree 
in painting from Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, MI, and classes he took at the prestigious Palette and Chisel Academy in Chicago.

For Clark, living and working in Colorado allows him to combine his love of painting with a comparable love for the outdoors. “I am inspired by the play of sunlight and shadow,” he says. “I really want people to see something of beauty 
in what they overlook normally. They might drive by a scene 100 times, but they don’t notice it. I hope my paintings help make people appreciate the beauty of the world around them.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff

Mary Williams Fine Arts, Boulder, CO; Treeline Gallery, Suttons Bay, MI.

Featured in the November 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art November 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook