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Picture of artist Michie Long next to artist and wife Helene Goldstein

Artist Statement for Michie Long

Though Michie Long comes from a long line of Tennesseans of Scottish descent (Michie, Tennessee was named after his great grandfather, George Michie), he was born in McAlister, Oklahoma in 1939 and raised in southwest Texas. His early employment included oil field worker, service station attendant, construction, shipping clerk, school teacher, ice truck loader, and color matcher for Kelly Moore paints. After receiving his degree from North Texas State University, Michie moved to California in 1970 to study at the Carmel Art Institute. He has resided on the Monterey Peninsula ever since. He was juried into the Carmel Art Association in 1985.

Growing up in the high desert of Texas, Michie could see to the horizon in every direction. When he began painting in oils at the age of fourteen, these early impressions of empty landscapes and vast unknowns became elemental to his compositions. “Michie Long explores in the space beyond the picture plane,” said one curator. “His canvases are the creations of a Minimalist: rich, jewel-toned backdrops of lonely rolling plains, desultory mountains, infinite blue skies, and more recently, somnambulistic seas, all lit by mysterious light emanating from some unidentifiable source. They are simultaneously poignant and puzzling, encompassing a sense of broad, binocular perspective.”

In another body of paintings, Long mines a magical, mythical terrain of his own invention. In this expressive realm Michie dons the hat of an Intimist, recording deeply personal and psychological material. This series, both accessible and deceptively complex, offers the viewer landscapes populated by horses and riders, lions and deer, harlequins, dancers, fiddlers, guitarists, and angels. All of the figures are stylized; they are enigmatic, mostly alone, and endowed with indistinct, almost featureless faces. Says Michie of these canvases: “The forms are archetypal or symbolic, but not by design or intention. For me they are compositional expressions of emotions and feelings.”

Michie Long continues: “I count 14th century Italian master artist Giotto di Bondone and 20th century painters Giorgio Morandi, John Cunningham and Patricia Cunningham among my most influential teachers. I don’t use a verbal vocabulary to talk about art, but I do adhere to many art principles.

These serve as my handwriting. My major concern is composition: the lights and darks, overlapping planes, and variations of color, value and shapes.”

Read more about artist Michie Long

Parade by artist Michie Long

Parade – Michie Long

48×60 inch

Oil on canvas


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