Michael Godfrey Biography
Michael Godfrey is an award-winning landscape artist whose work hangs in many private and corporate collections. Born in Germany in 1958 and raised in North Carolina, he earned a BA in Fine Arts and began his painting career in oils and watercolors. He spends hours photographing and sketching, preparing for a well thought out painting.
Michael describes his style as a combination of George Inness' impressionism with the moods of an Albert Bierstadt painting. "I paint," he says "to help people notice the special moments that happen every day, especially the drama when light first splashes across a scene." From different perspectives and different times of day, he works to capture and interpret the varying moods of light.
"A landscape artist has to have knowledge of many disciplines (geology, chemistry, physics, architecture), to understand the world in which they are trying to create. An artist must observe with the idea that what is observed must be interpreted and distilled. For a landscape artist, it is just as important what is not included in a work as what is eventually laid down. I ask myself, what is the dominant truth—is it color, shape of land forms, or time of day. I try to understand what I am seeing, so that the final work will capture the visual emotion."
On a series of painting trips in recent years, Michael has traveled to paint the quiet beauty of marshes along the Chesapeake Bay of Maryland, the colors of the Shenandoah Valley, to the grandeur of the Rocky Mountain ranges in the
West. Typically, he starts a major work using small oil studies done on location. These field studies provide color accuracy and photographs provide special details. His work has been juried into the National Arts for the Parks competition Top 100 six times. In 1996, he won the Landscape Award and in 1998, he won the Bronze medal for a painting of Yellowstone National Park. Michael has shown his paintings in numerous national shows and museum exhibitions. He was one of 50 artists selected for The Haggin Museum exhibition, "From Sea to Shining Sea," a two-year show focusing on American landscapes. Michael was selected Wolf Trap's Artist of the Year in 2006.
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