Michael Brennan is a multiple award-winning artist from Southern Ontario, Canada. His work showcases the awe- inspiring landscapes and natural elements that he captures during his plein air sessions in one of Canada's most beautiful regions.
Michael, how long have you been painting?
When I was about eight or nine I decided to take art seriously. When grade five came along I had my most fun working on art and made any excuse to draw or paint for school projects. My efforts were quickly noticed and before I knew, it I was commissioned to make art for teachers during recesses and after class. One day I entered a drawing into a newspaper art competition and won. That was such a boost to my confidence and I kept at it ever since.
"I'm happiest spending the day in nature, hiking through trails and plein air painting the landscape. There is something magical about the solitude, getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city to find a quiet spot where all I hear are birds and waterways."
Who has influenced your work?
My favourite artists are the Impressionists like Monet also Sorolla and Sargent but I’m frequently discovering other 19th century artists that also inspire me. I love the talent that came out of that era. No other period in art history inspires me as much.
When have you been your happiest painting?
I'm happiest spending the day in nature, hiking through trails and plein air painting the landscape. There is something magical about the solitude and the getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city to find a quiet spot where all I hear are birds and waterways. It's conducive to getting into the zone to make art.
What inspires you (both art and non art) and how does that affect your art?
I feel like good art shares the same traits we find in good people. Things like honesty, sincerity, simplicity, kindheartedness. I’m inspired by art that successfully conveys these traits. I like the balance of a well executed painting that is done with feeling.
What motivates you creatively?
The potential to keep learning, growing and improving as an artist is what excites and motivates me. I find my perception of what I think good art is, is greater than my artistic skill. That motivates me to want to improve.
What’s the goal of your work?
Firstly I paint for the love of making art. There are many rewarding parts to art that include: the journey of creating and then being able to look at a painting days or years later and get some enjoyment from it.
As mentioned earlier, I value honest and sincere art and I always hope to convey that to the audience. I believe the feelings I have while creating my art will find a way to the people viewing them.
How has your style evolved over time?
About ten years ago I got back into oil painting. I was much more rigid with the process of toning the canvas, sketching everything out before painting... taking more time measuring proportions. With time some of those things have fallen away and I have learned to trust my intuition more while painting.
What is one of the highlights of your art career thus far?
I am most proud of having my work purchased by the Mayor of Brampton (the city I live in) which was presented to the Ooni of Ife (the Nigerian Monarch) during his visit to the city in 2019. The painting was of the gardens at Chinguacousy park painted during the early morning light. It is an honour to be in the collection of this dignitary.
What do you consider your best work?
One of my favourite paintings is Rose of Sharon painted during the Norval Plein air event in 2020. I feel it successfully captured the impression of direct and diffuse natural light as well as the motion of the flowers as they gently swayed in the breeze.
Could you tell us about any future work in progress?
I have a few things in the works at the moment, most definitely you will see more impressionist garden and floral paintings.
Artist website: www.macb.ca