Clutching a warm cup of coffee, hands dressed in paint from days of creation, Michael looked out to the bustling streets of Portland, pondering the age-old question, “where do you pull inspiration from?”

His home for the last 30 years, unique and vibrant, has played a huge role in his creative work; but having grown up in the small coastal town of Neskowin, OR, Michael set out to travel the world only to learn that it is not just a place that influences him. Michael sees inspiration itself as a dramatic landscape, a collection of one’s entire life. Some might hear “dramatic landscape” and see visions of coastal cliffs, rolling hills of wine country, or mountainous forests. While these may be the visual stories that Michael paints, they are projections of the subconscious connections between him and those places, him and those moments, him and that piece of his life’s story as a whole.

We all process things differently, each of our perceptions influencing what we take away from a conversation, a place, a work of art. For Michael and his work, he does not need or expect viewers to take away the same stirring that he did when he created, the fact that moves him is simply that we will always take something with us. It is our nature to understand and make sense of our senses with the perceptions we hold. We are creating our own dramatic landscapes.

Eventually the coffee ran out and we began to part ways, me to write on the inspiring conversations we just held, Michael, to paint.


Michael’s art is being displayed at the Stoller Family Estate through the summer! Make a reservation and come spend some time engaging with his work! Artist’s reception to be announced.