Organizations* : NAWA
Born and continuing to live in Provo, Utah, Michael Coleman is a prominent Southwestern landscape painter working with a traditional style. His work is influenced by such 19th century painters as Henry Farny, Thomas Moran and George Inness, and also by the well-known animal painter Carl Rungius. Coleman majored in Fine Arts at Brigham Young University, and then traveled widely for subject matter.
Coleman’s landscapes are depicted in rich colors, and combine both realism and atmospheric styles. His animal works are generally set in the fall or autumn, when the animals are in their prime. Fall is also hunting season, not a coincidence for Coleman, as he grew up hunting and fishing the animals he now paints.
Coleman paints primarily with gouache on masonite primed with gesso, and then marks out key areas, including the horizon line. He works from the top to the bottom of the canvas and adds highlights towards the end.
He has exhibited at the National Academy of Western, and in 1978, at the age of 32, Coleman was given his first retrospective at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. In 1999, he won the Prix de West Award at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame for his bronze titled “September 39.” The work will join the permanent collection of the Hall of Fame. He has also exhibited with the National Park Academy in their exhibitions called “Arts for the Parks,” intended to direct artists back to landscape painting of western national parks. In 1987, he was in the “Arts for the Parks” inaugural exhibition with his entry “Yellowstone Park.”
References: Peggy and Harold Samuels, Contemporary Western Artists, Peter Hassrick, Drawn to Yellowstone and Southwest Art magazine