Getting to know the incredible Michael Godfrey
Michael Godfrey is a talented and imaginary landscape artist whose work can be seen in in numerous private and corporate collections. Godfrey was born in Germany in l958 and raised in North Carolina; he earned a BFA in Fine Arts and began his painting career in oils and watercolors.
We’ve all heard about the dangers of ultraviolet light rays – particularly to our skin, but exposure to UV light causes organic material to break down in artwork. This is visible in the form of fading colors and embrittlement and yellowing of the materials that bear the artwork. These effects, once started, are growing and irreversible.
Currently Godfrey spends hours field sketching and photographing, preparing for a well thought out painting. Godfrey’s desire is that his paintings “reflect the wonder of God’s creation.”
Typically, Godfrey starts a major work using small oil studies done on location. These field studies allow for color accuracy and the photographs provide special details. In the studio his work progresses in successive layers of paint and light which is orchestrated to create a painting that appeals to his internal sense of order.
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. Godfrey asks himself, “what is the dominant truth – is it color, shape of land forms, or time of day”. He tries to understand what he is seeing, so that the final work will capture the visual emotion.
Godfrey’s work has been in a variety of publications such as the book Art from the Parks; From Sea to Shining Sea, and magazines Southwest Art, Art of the West, Western Art Collector, and more. He has also received several art awards; the most recent include the 2010 Best in Show American Art Invitational in Denver, Colorado and the 2010 Best in Show at the Rocky Mountains Plein Air Painters.
Has Godfrey inspired you to do some of your own painting? He has for me!