110 Iroquois St Tavernier FL 33070
P: (828) 390-4105
MICHAEL SHIPMAN Key West Artist
I started this journey about 30 years ago. Like many others, my desire to pick up a brush started with watching Bob Ross. It wasn’t just the paintings, which were captivating, it was Bob’s energy: calm and gentle. He reminded me of my dad and his group of friends. They were all nonjudgmental, easy going, and accepting of everyone. That was the world I grew up in. It’s where my energy feels at home. Bob would have fit in perfectly. Besides, who doesn’t want to live in a world where clouds are happy, trees always have a friend, and there are no mistakes, only happy accidents.
Those first few globs of paint I threw on a canvas were terrible. Horrible. Not a happy accident. Gradually I did get better. After taking some workshops from certified instructor’s, I got a lot better. More importantly, I was hooked on the process of taking a blank canvas and creating my world. I was hooked on painting.
I loved the style but I did find it limiting. My creative energy was flowing and I wanted to ride that wave and learn everything I could. I went through books, videos, and the entire internet. Unfortunately, where I lived there were no local art classes that could help me. Workshops were not in my budget. Eventually I found a now (mostly) defunct website called Wetcanvas.
There I met so many amazing artists that were all very generous sharing their knowledge. I learned a tremendous amount from them. It’s sad that it no longer exists in that form but it was an incredible experience.
Some of my earlier works are more of a layering, glazing style of painting. I do enjoy that look and some of those artists are among my favorites (Caravaggio, the Dutch Masters). After a visit to the St. Louis Art Museum, and standing in front of a Sorolla then a Monet for probably an hour, I saw my path to Impressionism.