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international painting annual 3 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Michael Mahoney
Macomb, Illinois

detail image


I have been a perceptual painter all of my life except for occasional periods of experimentation with non-representational work when I was a student. The best reason I can offer to account for this choice or predisposition is simply that I enjoy working from observation more than I did working in any other way and I find both the constraints and the possibilities inherent in working from life compelling and challenging.

Oil paint and pastels are my preferred media. I like the colors and tactile properties of each - the greasy and slippery feel of oil paint which dries slowly and the dry, powdery feel of pastels already dry. These contrasting qualities oblige me to work in very different ways and I choose my subjects with this in mind.

The subjects I've painted most are still life and the human figure. I am not interested in producing exact parallels of what I see nor am I seeking to display illusionistic skills. My subjects and arrangements are meant to provide a framework for the process of interpreting my visual experiences into paintings that embody what I am feeling and thinking as I focus on that task. So as I work I am developing images that will, with the right combination of subject, color, touch and organization, reflect the content of my feelings and thoughts without relying on signs or storytelling.

My pastel painting reproduced in this publication, White Rabbit, is a still life with objects I gathered and a terra cotta sculpture I made arranged into a compact group against a simple field underscoring the closeness of the objects. Similar and contrasting colors and shapes create subgroups and rhythms within the larger arrangement while the image experienced as a whole evokes an effect which might be called a mood or feeling.


born: 1950, Detroit, Michigan


Wayne State University, MFA, 1978

selected awards/honors

Individual Creative Artists Grant, Michigan Council For The Arts, 1990
Individual Creative Artists Grant, Michigan Council For The Arts, 1987

selected publications

Detroit Artists Market Journal of Exhibitions, Motif: Still Life, Ten Painters, October 1993, Vol.6, No.2.
Detroit Artists Market Journal of Exhibitions, Salon des Refuses, October 1991, Vol.4., No.1, p.3
Wayne State University, WSU In Michigan, An Alumni Exhibition, October 1987.
Central Michigan University, Paintings and Work On Paper, Cary Gallery, Rochester, Michigan.Michigan Figurative - A Traveling Exhibition, October 1986.

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Cary Gallery, Paintings and Work On Paper, Rochester, MI, 1999
Western Illinois University, Recent Paintings and Work On Paper, Macomb, IL, 1996
Feigenson/Preston Gallery, New Paintings, Birmingham, MI, 1991
Nawara Gallery, Paintings, Walled Lake, MI, 1988

selected group shows

Wayne State University, WSU Alumni Exhibition, Detroit, MI, 2012
The Wichita Center for the Arts, Pastel National 2012, Wichita, KS
Buchanan Center for the Arts, 64 ARTS 2011 National Juried Exhibition, Monmouth, IL
Augustana College Art Museum, Thirty-fifth Annual Rock Island Fine Arts Exhibition, Rock Island, IL, 2011


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