Eric Michaels, a Birch Bay resident and nationally acclaimed painter, will introduce his work to the local community at Jansen Art Center in Lynden.
Michaels has been a professional artist for 35 years.
“I haven’t had a real job since ’72,” he joked. “I was a musician before I became a full-time painter.”
He spent a few years early in his career working in commercial art before turning to fine art full time. Michaels was born and raised in Illinois, but spent most of his life in New Mexico and southern Colorado. He and his wife moved to Birch Bay last fall.
“We were in the southwest for so long, I felt like I wanted to do a complete 180 and see somewhere completely new,” he said.
Michaels specializes in painting oil and watercolor outdoor scenes, what’s known as en plein air. He’s painted landscapes on four different continents and throughout the United States.
His work has been featured in more than two dozen international publications, including The Artist’s Magazine, Plein Air Magazine and Art of the West.
In addition to the show in Lynden, his work is currently on display in galleries in Colorado, Texas and Arizona, and has been displayed in museums in London.
The show at Jansen is his first local show, and it showcases his Pacific Northwest paintings. The exhibit will feature 24 pieces – 14 oil paintings and 10 watercolors – depicting locations like the Nooksack River and Vancouver Island.
“I wanted this to be kind of my coming out party to the local community,” he said. “I wanted to get my name out there so people would know who I am, and so I could possibly hold some community workshops in the future.”
Michaels’ exhibit is currently on display at the Jansen Art Center at 321 Front Street in Lynden. The exhibit will run until April 1. For more information, visit ericmichaelsfineart.com or jansenartcenter.org.