Michael McKellip

Michael McKellip

Crow Junction, United States

I’m a baby boomer who came of age in the 50’s and 60’s in Faribault, Minnesota, a town of about 20-thousand south of Minneapolis. My artistic endeavors go back almost as far as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is trying to draw a picture from a magazine and being really frustrated because it looked nothing like the picture in the magazine. I have spent the rest of my life teaching myself to draw.

I was home from school the day Allen Shepard flew in “Freedom 7”, I answered the phone the day my mom called our little one room school to tell Grandma, who was also my teacher, that President Kennedy was dead. I hit my teens the summer of “The Beatles” first American tour and watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. In 1972 I moved with my family to Colorado. My Woodstock was hitch hiking to Boulder to see the Grateful Dead on Labor Day weekend in 72. I went to broadcasting school in Minnesota in 1974 with the goal of going back to Colorado after I graduated. After being fired from my first radio job in Waseca, Minnesota, where I worked part time, I made it back to Colorado in the fall of 75 when I got my first full time radio job at a small station in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Over the next 25 years I worked at radio stations mostly in New Mexico and Colorado. The biggest market I’ve worked in was Richmond Virginia. I saw some beautiful country in Virginia but I didn’t like living in the big city and moved back to Colorado in 1991 telling friends and family that if I ever talked about moving east of the Mississippi again PLEASE put a bullet in my head.
Today I live in Crow Junction Colorado where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains.
Though the bell bottoms, drugs, bars and parties of my youth are history and I’ve grown more conservative over the years several things have remained constant. I read every history book I can lay my hands on, I am fascinated by the vastness and beauty of the universe and most of all if there is a pencil and piece of paper around I’ll be drawing.

“CARTOON REALISM”
I am not the originator of that term but it’s the best I’ve come across to describe my work.
The detail in my work comes from my favorite artist , Norman Rockwell. I couldn’t begin to count the hours I have spent looking at his work for the “Saturday Evening Post”, in books and on calendars.My favorite piece by him is “Shuffleton’s Barbershop”. The air and feeling, more than the location, of that painting take be back to the edge of my earliest memories at my Grandma McKellip’s farm and my Grandma Kaldahl’s house on Willow Street. Though I’ve never approached his technical skills, his ability to capture a moment and tell a story has had a major effect on how I approach my art.
The cartoon influence is because I’ve always admired the style of those superbly detailed backgrounds in the old “Tom & Jerry” and “Looney Tunes” cartoons. I still love watching them! Another cartoon influence was “CarToons Magazine”. Even though I thought most of the stories were stupid I saved my nickels and dimes for it when I was a kid because I Loved those Hot Rod and Drag Car drawings! To this day I am a fan, and student of one of their artists George Trosley.
I also have all but one issue of the first three years of “Heavy Metal Magazine”. I have spent many an hour perusing the sometimes disturbing but always wonderful! artwork featured on their pages.
The biggest cartoon influence though has to be Robert Crumbs work in “CarToons Magazine” and “Zap Comics”.
In the world of Cartoon Realism he stands alone atop mount Olympus!
Though I’m not a painter I have learned a lot from Bob Ross, a painter who can be seen on many American PBS TV stations, about landscapes in particular, and art in general.

M. C. Escher, Vincent Van Gogh and the Impressionists in general are other artists who’s work I enjoy!

  • Age: 65
  • Joined: July 2011
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