Michael Ward

Michael Ward

Costa Mesa, United States

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New Book: “The Mystery of the Ordinary”

I began my artistic career doing pen and ink renderings of historical architecture. I began painting in 1980, first in gouache, then in acrylics. Artists whose work I admire and draw inspiration from include Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, Richard Estes and Vermeer. I am most interested in depicting what Alan Watts called the mystery of the ordinary; the workaday world we live in without seeing until we are forced to focus upon it, as in a painting.

Nearly all my paintings are based on photographs I have taken, primarily of Southern California scenes, over the years. Though it was never my intention to depict nostalgic scenes, many of the images I have painted have disappeared or been radically altered in the ever-changing landscape that is Southern California. Thus nostalgia is thrust upon the works. But the distinctive light remains, which is what I attempt to capture in my painting. That, and the built environment that we humans inhabit, where nature manifests itself only in weeds and palms emerging from cracks in the hardscape, and the smooth blue sky.

Phyllis Lutjeans, Museum Educator and former curator, has said of my work: “Although Michael Ward may be called a neo-realist painter his work can ultimately be described as abstract realism. The picture image is photographically realistic, but within the context of the painting his compositions are complex and almost abstract. Deciphering the work section by section one sees how a multitiude of individual complete compositions are put together to form the entire work. For me the viewer is confronted by a realistic image that puzzles us and clearly tells the story simultaneously.”

As a painter, I am self-taught. In my day job, I work as an Art Director and Graphic Designer.

More work at http://www.bluecanvas.com/michaelward

Group Show, Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA, June-July, 2014
Group Show, Chemers Gallery, Tustin, CA, April 26-May 10, 2014
Casa Romantica, San Clemente, CA, January 2014
Laguna Beach Festival of Arts, Laguna Beach, CA, July-August 2013
Solo Show, Studio Gallery, Irvine, CA, January 2013
Featured Artist, Orange Coast Magazine, January 2013
Featured Artist, Blue Canvas magazine #12, 2012
Featured Artist, Art in the OC, August 2012
First place, Summer: an art exhibit, 2nd City Council Art Gallery, Charles Phoenix, juror, 2011
Artist Eye Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA April 1-30 2011
Walkabout, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, 2008
Orange County Airport Community Focus Space, 2008-9
Selected Awards and Shows:
California Open Exhibition, TAG Gallery, Santa Monica, CA 2008
Gem ‘08, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, 2008
Art Kudos International Competition 2007
Artists Magazine, 24th Art Competition, Finalist (2x), Landscape
Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery Open Salon, 2007
Art + Architecture Art Auction, West Hollywood, CA, 2007
Crackerjack Group Show, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, CA, 2007
Venice Free Clinic Art Auction, Venice, CA, 2007
Sexy Beasts Group Show, Art Murmur Gallery, Los Angeles, 2007
TURF Group Show, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, 2007
Made in California, Brea Civic & Cultural Center, Brea, CA, 2007
Centered on the Center, Huntington Beach Art Museum, 2007
Open Show, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, 2006-7
Metroscapes (Group Show), Art Murmur Gallery, Los Angeles, 2006
Centered on the Center, Huntington Beach Art Museum, 2006
Made in California, Brea Civic & Cultural Center, Brea, CA, 2006
Artists Magazine, 22nd Art Competition, Finalist, Still Life
Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery Open Salon, 2004
Orange County Artist Juried Exhibition, 2004
Orange County Biennial, 2001
Made in California, City of Brea Art Museum, 1998
Mesa Art, Costa Mesa, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art Rental Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

  • Joined: July 2009


More work at Blue Canvas

See more of my work at Blue Canvas / Help me get to 1000 page views!
Posted about 3 years – 1 comments

The blog begins

New blog started at http://tmichaelwardartist.blogspot.com/ / So far, mainly postings of new work. Enjoy!
Posted over 4 years – Leave a comment