Michael Lanka, Seattle Member Since November 2009 Artist Statement Artist Bio – Michael Lanka
Michael is a practicing artist with over 30 years experience painting in oil, focusing on marine and seascape subject matter. He specializes in plein air style of painting, creating small studies on location, and then recreating larger paintings in his studio.
The Pacific West coast with its rugged and rocky shores as well as unpredictable weather conditions has been a constant source of inspiration for Michael. Born in Chicago, Illinois his interest in the sea began at an early age when his father would take him fishing along the piers of Lake Michigan, and his observations of sea and sky left a profound impact on him ever since. Michael moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2001 and has spent more time pursuing his passion of painting the sea. Whenever he goes to beaches, he constantly sketches and studies movement of water, compositions of rocks, and atmosphere. Deep greens, blues, pale yellows, and sienna’s are Michael’s favorite palette colors. He prefers to paint with brush, palette knife, and anything else handy that one can apply paint to including sticks, sponges, rags, and razors to create unique textures. The dramatic play of light and dark has become a persistent theme in his work.
Michael studied over half a decade under the guidance of the late Impressionist, Josephine Ciulla. He was encouraged to create art at an early age. Michael attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for drawing workshops over a period of time when he was 11 years old, and then began undertaking oil painting at age 13. Throughout the years, Michael has won awards for his work. Fans of historic baseball stadiums might have seen several of his paintings hanging in the hallways of the old Comiskey Field in Chicago. Michael holds a bachelors degree from DePaul University and masters degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Michael’s paintings are found in numerous corporate and private collections.
What appeals to me most about painting the sea is that it is never the same, constantly challenging me to capture a fleeting moment. Painting outdoors causes me to make swift decisions in painting light and shadows of a wave, for example. There is no time to think, and as a result, I am forced to interpret the raw essence of my subject. I want the viewer of my paintings to feel the ocean mist, the wind, the smells, the temperature, the sounds and experience a spiritual connection to the ocean.
- 2012 Edmonds Art Festival, Edmonds, WA, Juror: Ned Mueller - 2011 Northwind Art Center, Port Townsend, WA, Juror: Gary Faigin - 2011 Schack Juried Art Exhibition, Everett, WA, Jurors: Jules Anslow, Jack Gunter, Jan Hopkins - 2010 Shelton Civic Center, Shelton, WA, Jurors: Shelton Art Committee
Represented by The Let Go Gallery, Port Townsend, WA