Traditional landscapes and motifs are revolutionized in painter Michael Croman’s abstractions. A spiritually kinetic energy is palpable in these works, with color radiating throughout the canvas in richly opulent textures.
Croman’s materials and methods are more than experimental; they are intensely innovative, breathing a contemporary dynamism into his classic subjects. Oil paint blends with turpentine, and is applied with instruments such as cloth, yielding sumptuous, captivatingly kaleidoscopic compositions. “I seek to capture what at first sight appear to be random, fractal patterns in nature and arrange them to become better appreciated as highly organized design elements,” explains Croman. “In the final result, I aim to capture the spirit of the place rather than make a visual record of any particular place I have seen and experienced and later recall from memory.”
Michael Croman’s experiences as a child led to his ardent artistic pursuits in adulthood. Breathtaking in their impressionistic beauty, his works are in 160 private collections in the United States and abroad.
Michael resides in Olympia, Washington.
You can view more of his work at .
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about the artist
The Roots and Branches of My Artistic Life
Boston, city of my birth and first ten years, was the incubator. New Haven, the place of my teen and high school years, was my laboratory. And New York City was the source of inspiration for a lifetime of involvement in the arts and oil painting specifically.
In 1961, I graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a B.S. degree in Art Education. I taught art in New York and Connecticut for five years. In 1966 I assumed the position of Exhibits Manager at the Museum of Art, Science & Industry in Bridgeport, Connecticut. From 1970 to 1980, I worked for the Connecticut Commission on the Arts which led me to move to Washington State to serve as the Executive Director of the Washington State Arts Commission from 1980 to 1989.
Painting continued on and off throughout my working years but in 2001, I felt an urgent need to paint full time and needed at least ten years to test my skills. In February 2001, I began my artistic career in earnest.
Just a few months into my newfound work, I stumbled upon a different way of painting. I began to paint with cloth more than brushes and focused my work on landscapes. Over the next decade, I continued to refine my technique through on-going experimentation with the materials. Soon brushes were used only to apply the paint, followed immediately by many different strokes of the cloth on the wet surface, each producing a different pattern of color, light, shadow and texture.
I like to think of the paintings as the leaves that have grown from my youthful tree. Seeded in early childhood, matured through hard work and commitment, they are now scattered among many people who have found joy and pleasure in their creation.
- Museum Contempo, Permanent Collection and Group Exhibitions, Shelton, Washington
- Gallery 4N5, Group Exhibition, San Francisco, California
- Mavi Contemporary Art Gallery, Solo Exhibition, Tacoma, Washington
- International Society of Experimental Artists, 2010 and 2011 Juried Exhibitions, Grand Rapids, Michigan and Shelton, Washington
- Agora Gallery, Group Exhibition, New York, New York
- Reflections Gallery, Solo Exhibition, Olympia, Washington
- SAM (Seattle Art Museum) Gallery, Group Exhibition, Seattle, Washington
- Sunburst Gallery, Solo Exhibition, Chelan, Washington
- Karlson/Gray Gallery, Invitational Exhibition, Langley, Washington
- Fountainhead Gallery, Invitational Exhibition, Seattle, Washington
- Van Tuinen Fine Art, Group Exhibition, Olympia, Washington
- Henderson House Museum, Group Exhibition, Tumwater, Washington
- Childhood’s End Gallery, Group Exhibition, Olympia, Washington
- Graystone Gallery, Group Exhibition, Portland, Oregon
- Broderick Gallery, Group Exhibition, Portland, Oregon
- The Old State House, Solo Exhibition, Hartford, Connecticut
- Green-Ross Gallery, Group Exhibition, New York, New York
- Empire Studios, Group Exhibition, New Canaan, Connecticut
- Galeria Del Sol, Group Exhibition, Tarrytown, New York
- Professional Artists of Connecticut, Group Exhibition, New Haven, Connecticut