Cornwall ON – I have known South Lancaster artist, Michael Cartwright for many years and I am still always intrigued by his style of painting as well as his subject matter.
Michael studied at the Nova Scotia College of art & Design where he obtained a diploma in Fine Arts. He calls himself a Canadian Realist joining the other Canadian artists in that genre; Alex Colville, Ken Danby and Christopher Pratt.
“I use paint as a visual aid to sensing space and atmosphere.” Michael told me. “Not always obvious unless you have had some background in art.”
Michael’s art work reflects his delightful sense of humour but do not think that he is not a serious artist. All his paintings have a painterly quality, building the paint up in layers which give them great depth. The humour shows mostly in his sculpture but the titles of his paintings is where Michael shines.
“Puns aren’t really accepted in art.” Michael explained.
I am the proud owner of one of his paintings “In One Ear and Out the Other” which is on his blog site. It was the title as much as the painting theme itself that made me want to own it.
One of Michael’s award winning paintings (First Prize in another Annual Juried Show at the Cornwall Regional Art Gallery) is “Ground Hog Day 1998”. Because of its success he now produces T-shirts, cards and a ground hog art decoy on a stick. I have one myself and he sits forever waiting for February 2nd. They – the decoys, that is – have often been found in large groups in front of Parliament in Ottawa and other local spots.
Michael has been producing art for some thirty years – he is not a “Sunday Painter” as he made sure I was aware of.
Because some of his images are unusual I wanted to know where he got his inspiration.
“I always carry my camera.” Michael told me. “Sometimes I go looking for what I need in my painting but often it is what I find and photograph, that decides the painting.”
Michael’s work can be found on his blog site. From there you can email him.
He is currently exhibiting in the Annual Juried Show at the Cornwall Regional Gallery until March 5, 2010. His entry there is a perfect example…a picture of a calf in a field. Its title? “Calfeteria”.