“Born in Long Beach, California, in 1948, I graduated from Long Beach State University in 1974 with a BA degree in Art with additional art instruction at UCLA. Shortly after graduation, I decided to move to the Northern California area and have lived and worked in the East Bay Hills since that time. During my early years of study, I further developed an interest in all mediums of fine art which eventually introduced me to many of the early 20th century artists working here in the state of California.
I have always been attracted to Early California Landscape Impressionism, Luminism & Tonalism, and the art from these eras has always been my greatest influence. I have tried to reflect this in my current Plein Air subject matter and pallet, by directing my attention to those areas that have been, so far, unaffected by man’s manipulation and development of our very special and unique location.
After moving to the Bay Area in 1974, I immediately began to notice how much of the environment has changed, and especially over the last few years. Many of the areas which have been adversely affected are the wild habitats that have now been converted to shopping malls and tract homes. The remarkable diversity which all of these places once shared has now been destroyed, along with these unique environments which once prevailed there.
Before all these habitats disappear forever from the unrelenting land developments, I have decided to devote the second half of my life by painting some of the natural beauty that California now enjoys, before it has been permanently changed.” -Michael Cowles