Garry McMichael Art
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An interesting article about Garry McMichael and the development of his art appeared on the Artsyshark BlogCLICK HERE TO SEE THE BLOG.

Below is an interview by Heather Haymart, the editor of the Gateway Gallery's Blog.  If this interview still leaves you wanting to know more about me and my art, send an e-mail and I'll try to answer your questions.

    How long have you been an artist? 

Since the day I could scribble with a pencil or a crayon.  I have photos of myself with a Kodak Brownie hanging around my neck when I was eight.  I took my camera everywhere.  When I was in high school I illustrated a student literary book, VIGNETTES, with my drawings.  I really liked being a student photographer; it gave me the opportunity to get out of class to take photos of other students and activities for the yearbook.  I discovered a camera in my hands was like wearing a protective coat of armor.  Photography helped me to overcome my shyness, approach other students, especially girls, and develop relationship skills that many students don’t learn until later in life.

Photography also helped me to develop a life-long love for the outdoors, nature and the Missouri/Arkansas Ozarks in particular. Today the Ozark landscape is an integral part of my art.  Our clear running streams and green-forested hills are a treasure to behold and a challenge to paint. 

Art Prints
Mouse Over to See Photos


 A short video about Garry
recently produced by ArtMart


An article about Garry McMichael
and the development of his art
appeared on the Artsyshark Blog. 


      What is your day job? 


  I have been an editorial and commercial photographer all of my life.  I have worked as a freelancer for numerous national publications such as NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, TIME, NEWSWEEK, FORBES, BICYCLING, and dozens of others.  Today most of my work is for commercial clients creating annual report photography, brochures and catalogs. Computers and digital photography has flipped the commercial photography business on its head. Instead of just doing photography I find myself taking a commercial project from concept through the graphic design stage, directly to the printer and delivering the completed project to the client.   Today, I find myself developing websites and e-mail marketing for clients.  Commercial photographers starting out today need to have full range of computer skills, need to know how to do graphic design, create a website and work with commercial printers.

Garry With Kodak Brownie

     What kind of art do you make? 

      I create fine art photography, drawings and paintings in oil, acrylic and pastels.  I find my fine art today is really a counter balance to my high tech day work, and oil and acrylic have become my medium of choice.  Applying a rich pigment of paint across a gessoed board is such a different emotion from the tedium of working all day on a computer.  As an editorial and commercial photographer my vision has always been grounded in reality and fine detail.  Painting allows me release a lot of pent up emotions and work more from my imagination.  I would like my art to become more painterly but  I love photorealistic art.  

NorthShore Carin by Garry McMichael

       Where do you get your inspiration? 

   When I was young, my artistic inspiration came from nature and living in the heart of the Ozarks.  But now, much of my inspiration comes from my family, friends and fellow artists.  I’m coming to realize there is as much beauty in my back yard, my grandfathers barn, and the local farmer's market as there is in a thousand acres of hill-covered forests.

Three Cedars by garry McMichael
     What is your proudest artistic accomplishment?

     My next one, of course.  I don’t live in the past.  I want to keep learning, experimenting, playing and pushing my art and myself.

      Why do you make art? 

Garry McMichael by Lisa Ober
     I often tell friends I make art because it’s cheaper than seeing a psychiatrist every week.  There is lot of truth in that statement.  All day I work for my commercial clients and I feel my stress level rise throughout the day. Every evening I go into my studio, turn on the music and start painting. The next thing I know, three, four or more hours have passed and my stress level has returned to near zero.
Who are your greatest artistic influences? 
    When I was a young photographer I was greatly influenced by the nature photography of Eliot Porter.  I would spend hours studying his work in a series of Sierra Club books, In Wilderness is The Preservation of the World and Summer Island.  The Hudson River School artists heavily influence me. I would dearly love to have experienced the forested Ozarks back in the early to mid-1800’s like the Hudson School Painters experienced New England and upper New York. The works of George Innness and Asher B. Durand especially impress me. When it comes to capturing the color of the American West few artists surpass Thomas Moran.  I’ll never forget the first time I saw one of his original western sunsets at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.  I was stunned by its beauty.  I couldn’t make myself leave the gallery. I stared at it for hours.  Among contemporary painters I’m particularly influenced by the highly original pastel techniques of Bill Creevy and  I greatly admire the originality of Richard McKinley.  The way McKinley allows the underpainting to influence the mood of his pastel and oil landscapes is magic. There are so many great local artists in the St Louis area, and I love to share ideas with all of them.  A few of my very favorite include Michael Anderson (multi medium impressionist painter; we share a love of the art of David Hockney), Lisa Ober (super realist in pastel and oil; she can work magic with pastels), and Shawn Cornell (one of the finest plein air oil painters I've ever had the opportunity to paint with).

All materials and artwork contained on this website are copyrighted by Garry McMichael
and can not be downloaded, copied or used without written permission.