Most of my paintings are derived from a multitude of coastal encounters in Rhode Island as a stand-up paddle wave rider. The expressionist interpretations of the ocean, sky, colors, light, movement and motion that I experience upon the water are illustrated in the layered, overlapping strokes displayed on the canvases. Acrylic pigments and the evidenced “byproduct” of texture are integrated to reflect an abstract “glance” perspective of my moments on the sea.
My life choices have been multi-faceted. They have brushed a multitude of disciplines and have resulted in exploring the boundaries bordering on recognized athletic achievements, military engagement, and many endeavors in the graphic arts digital revolution. Painting has allowed me to express a most intimate relationship melding my world of experiences.
I identify with the term “expressionist” as I approach each canvas. My process is very direct without detailed preparation. The conduit from memory to paint on canvas is explosive and tender at the same time. My final work may be best described as a “glance” as we pass by…somewhat unfinished, unresolved, yet complete in its comprehension. I generally use a variety of sized palette knives and wall scrapers to blend a multitude of colors and let the mystery of pigment amalgamation takeover. The end result is a tribute to that momentary perspective of a particular location that I like to call a “persuasion of place” ideation.
Inspired by water, illumination, movement
Michael Stricklin began painting as an art student at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey in 1972. He studied with Mel Leipzig, an art professor who is considered one of New Jersey’s most accomplished painters. Mike had just returned from military service as a Marine in Vietnam when he enrolled to study art and explore his creative passions.
He continued to study art and art history at the University of Rhode Island, where he attended on a soccer scholarship and graduated in 1977. He then played soccer professionally and coached at Harvard University for three years. He was inducted into the New England Soccer Hall of Fame in 2009.
Michael spent the last 15 years of his career as a Production Art Manager for Adidas before retiring in 2017. He works in his art studio at home in Rhode Island. As an avid surfer, stand-up paddle wave rider, he has been continually inspired by the colors and textures of the water and sky, and he illustrates his visual experiences into his artwork.
He had a solo show in Wakefield, RI in 2018, “Expressionist Visions: A Surfer’s View from the Surface.” Since then, he has had paintings selected for juried shows in Rhode Island at the Newport Art Museum, Wickford Art Association, Jamestown Art Center and South County Art Association. His work is currently being shown in Charlestown Gallery, Charlestown, RI. Mike’s work is also on display at The Break Hotel in Narragansett, RI. He is also an accomplished instrumental solo guitarist and plays locally.
My latest paintings are artistic expressions inspired by my coastal encounters as a surfer and stand up paddle (SUP) wave rider. The colors, complex layering, energy and motion reflected in my work are attempts to interpret the dramatic beauty of our Rhode Island coastal environments.
Each day our senses are visually impacted by reflections, refractions, and shadows that weave our landscapes of perception. We seek to ground ourselves in comprehending and navigating our terrain before us. I see my work as an existential snapshot, an attempt to express these sensory experiences in a creative language of color and movement.
Mixing and scraping a combination of pigments, while layering and smoothing the wide strokes, are my attempts to create a window to a new visual experience. What finalizes a work of art for me lies in its innate visual passion, its sense of unique color combinations, conveying new shapes and depth of composition. What emerges after completion is the title for the painting.
This transpires as if the new work, having a life of its own, speaks
it’s own truth.