Who am I ? (as an artist)
I have done this art thing my entire life. I painted highway billboards, was an art director for a sign company, a partner in a visual design group, then an illustrator and fine artist. My shortened resume is listed below. I was born with a gift for drawing. I was driven to work hard, and I have a philosophical edge that always wants to find its way out.
Authentic and positive are key words for me, and I am fascinated by metaphor. I want my paintings to portray brash simplicity with an underlying complexity. My paintings need to look as though they have lived long enough to know how simple they are. I never used to like this kind of double talk about art. But I did it for so long that my philosophical edge found a way out. And... I always try to speak through beauty. I believe God is beauty and the answers to life and salvation are beautiful.
The Photo Bio page and the Recently Sold page above are a quick way to see who I am artistically, and my YouTube Channel is Michael Mahoney Art.
Artist Biography and Western Roots
Francis J. Mahoney ventured west to Denver CO as a stone carver in the 1880s. He helped build the old U.S. Mint and the Cathedral on Colfax in downtown Denver CO. He was Michael's Great, Great Grandfather.
On the other side of Michael's family, his Great Grandfather, Bill Ryan was a friend of Buffalo Bill Cody, and Michael's Grandfather, W. J. (Jack) Ryan, is in the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame.
Michael's parents moved from Wyoming to Montana where he was born in 1959. He grew up fishing, hiking and painting in the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness North of Yellowstone Park.
Michael's love for art combined with experience in the wilds of Montana and led him to work for many years as a natural illustrator. He created hundreds of complex wildlife and habitat paintings for clients like; the U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, Montana Fish and Game, and many others. Outdoor writer Jim Merritt wrote an unsolicited, feature article about Michael's work for 'Field & Stream' magazine entitled 'The Masters Hand'. Michael painted on TV for an ESPN fishing program and his work was editorialized in virtually every fly-fishing periodical. Currently Michael paints for galleries and private commissions. Michael's knowledge of iconic figures enables him to paint with intuitive spontaneity.
As is the case with many artists who have had long careers, Michael has evolved from doing detail work to the expressionist paintings he creates today. Every painting is a cooperation between his emotional experiences, and the skill to follow a natural direction in the paint. Over time he has experienced the unexplainable realities which give art the ability to pull at our hearts.