Leonardo da Vinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

--Leonardo da Vinci

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Battling Inner Fears

In working for my upcoming solo show 'Impassioned', one place I wanted to paint was at the Astoria, Oregon waterfront. On Black Friday my wife and I had a book signing at Finn Ware and decided to spend a couple extra nights in order for me to do just that. One minor detail though, weather.... and it came in big. It rained pretty hard all day on Saturday and I struggled to find inspiration enough to go fight the elements for a plein air painting. We debated on having me paint inside our hotel room which wasn't cutting it for me. We went to the hotel rooftop and it still wasn't doing anything for me.
I knew I wanted to go to the waterfront, but was pretty unsure if I would find anything interesting to paint. So after vacillating for a stretch of wasted time, my wife said, "Just go out there, cause if you don't you'll be angry that you didn't paint something." (Victoria knows that I have a deep-rooted Scandinavian side to me.....:)
So I went to the car, grabbed my gear and reluctantly headed down to the waterfront getting soaked. Almost instantly I knew what I wanted to paint. There was an old red building on pilings that was just begging to be painted.

So I quickly set up my traveling peanut roaster and got to work. And while I truly loved the subject matter, I didn't know what it was other than an old red building on pilings. Turns out it was the Pilot House. So, the cargo ships don't just navigate up the Columbia by anybody, they have a River Pilot or a Bar Pilot navigate the waters. This is the house for them and the boat that delivers them to the ships. I've known for a while that this is what occurs, I just didn't know this was the launching point for that amazing transition of pilot to ship.

I also didn't realize that I would be painting one of the most important paintings for my show. A painting that made the back of my show card.

It's quite funny to me how razor thin the line from nothing to something can be. I struggled so much with trying to figure out what and where to paint. Almost didn't paint. And to quiet the negative chatter in my head that I'll never find something to paint, its not worth the effort, just go watch a movie and relax..... And if it wasn't for my wife's efforts to motivate me, this painting probably wouldn't be here. It's funny how life works at times when you rise up and battle through your inner fears.....

Pilot House
oil on panel
'Impassioned' opens First Friday February 3, 2017 at Art on the Boulevard Gallery 5-9 opening reception. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Clark County Open Studio Tour Recap....

Brass Vase and Gourds
Last weekend, Clark County, in SW Washington, hosted its first Open Studio Tour, which I was excited to be a part of. Fifty artists opened their studios to friends, family, collectors, appreciators, and other artists.....and the response was outstanding.
There was a certain amount of intrigue on everyone's part, getting a glimpse behind the scenes of where an artist works and where their inspirations take root.
During the two-day event I decided to work through Brass Vase and Gourds, so people could see a painting in progress. It also was an instant conversational fulcrum.
The absolute best part of the weekend, was when I had the opportunity to visit with a couple of young girls (Claire and Rebekah), who are painters themselves, and tell them a little about my thought process. And THEN, I asked them, "OK, who wants to paint on this?" Of course, both girls were reluctant to step forward, but their mother hinted towards the younger of the two. So I sat Rebekah down, showed her how to hold the brush, and away she went, pushing paint around the canvas like a champ!

Rebekah working with painting knife
She worked on the table and then blended some edges with a painting knife between the green bottle, the right side gourd, and the table.
Great job Rebekah! And thanks so much for your help with this painting!
Keeping our youth involved with the arts is never far from my thoughts. To me, it's one of the greatest responsibilities, we as adult creatives can pass on to the next generation.

Thanks to everyone who came to visit my studio during the tour! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to share it with you. A special thank you to Camila Morrison and Nila Baker, for volunteering their time as greeters. And of course, a big thank you goes to my wife, Victoria. I couldn't have pulled this off without you, Dear!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2013 Pacific NW Plein Air

Dance After Sunset
I am filled with great memories of last week's Pacific NW Plein Air Paint-Out. It was an exhausting five days of hard work and great times that I will not soon forget.
It was an honor for me to be a part of this event. It was also filled with many talented painters that put together quite a body of work when it came time for the opening on Friday night.
Congratulations to all the participants of this year's event! And a big THANK YOU to all the volunteers, sponsors, and gallery staff of the Columbia Center for the Arts  who helped to put it all together.
Having this intensive chunk of time to focus on painting was quite invigorating. And even though I was a crispy critter by the end of the fifth day, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
This painting was a piece that I worked on for four consecutive evenings to get this scene. I often felt like I was at a track meet, waiting for my race to start, and once the sun dropped behind the distant hills, it was as if the gun went off and the race to capture the fleeting light was on. Only having 30-45 minutes to work each night before the scene disappeared..... 
It was certainly a great and wonderful challenge to Dance After Sunset.....

Friday, July 12, 2013

Announcing my Plein Air Workshop


Michael Lindstrom

2013 Plein Air Workshop
Edge of the Birch
Come join me for a day of challenging your senses and adding mood to your work. We will cover selecting and designing a composition, technique, and color harmony. The morning will consist of discussing these issues and a demonstration of how I exercise them. In the afternoon you will receive one on one time as you apply these practices to your own work.
Saturday, September 14th, 9am-4pm
Location: Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway, in Vancouver, WA
Cost: $75
Contact me with questions and registration at:

*Geared towards oil and acrylic painters of all levels.
*Directions and material list will be provided upon your registration.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Journey Continues....

Across the Columbia
Spring and summer have proven to be quite busy for me. It feels good to sit down and update you on what's been going on.
I have been searching for a coastal gallery that would be a good fit and I am excited to let you know that I found one:
RiverSea Gallery in Astoria, Oregon.
RiverSea is a great gallery with a wonderful space and a broad mix of dynamic art. Jeannine, the Gallery Director, is very active in promoting the arts and the artists, and I am extremely proud to be a part of her team.
While Astoria is a destination town, it also possesses a salty, working class feel to it with lots of mood and texture. Which is right up my alley....
Having a coastal presence has been on my mind for sometime now and it feels great to see it become a reality.
Across the Columbia, is one of my pieces showing at RiverSea. And I will be present for their Second Saturday Art Walk, next Saturday, July 13th from 5-8pm. If you're in the area, stop by and say hi.
In upcoming weeks I will update you on other significant news.....

Friday, March 15, 2013

Thank You

Hug Point Sea-stack
As my show Moods of the Pacific Northwest begins to wind down, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all your support. All the friends, family, peers and collectors, you have really added the spice to make this a dynamite experience for me and from the bottom of my heart I
Thank You!

From the time I was given the green light to move forward with this project, the entire process has been a life changing experience for me, and one that I will never forget.
Each of the paintings holds a special memory for me. Like the morning when I painted Torrent out in the driving wind and rain at La Push, or the time when my great friend, Eric Jacobsen and I straddled a guard rail in The Dalles and I ended up painting Reliable Beauty. Then there was the time when I painted a sea-stack at Hug Point and my freshly loaded palette fell face first on the beach. Consequently, the piece is lovingly adorned with Hug Point sand.
As of today, an amazing total of 24 paintings have sold from the show. I couldn't be more humbly thankful that Moods of the Pacific Northwest was so well received.
And to my biggest fan, my Grandmother (Betty), who has visited the gallery at least a dozen times with friends and family to do what grandmothers do best... boast.
Thanks to everyone who had an opportunity to see the show and/or offer up such kind words, especially those who chose to take a piece home. It truly means more to me than you can imagine.
I owe a special thank you to Kevin Weaver, the gallery director of Art on the Boulevard for believing and trusting in me enough to give me my first solo show. It was an unbelievable show of faith that I am so grateful for. Thank you Kevin, for giving me wings.
And lastly I would like to thank my wife, Victoria. I could not have done the show without your support and organization. I love you and thank you!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Moods of the Pacific Northwest

Moods of the Pacific Northwest
Show Statement
Michael Lindstrom, is an oil painter, born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and has developed a great love for its dynamic beauty. Out of his passion for the diverse topography and seasonal weather patterns was born this show, Moods of the Pacific Northwest.
In this show you will see a broad range of subject matter, from moody coastlines to intimate tree lines, to the Gorge, to east of the Cascades. His goal is to give the viewer a feeling of what inspires him about the Pacific Northwest. "It's really a celebration of the landscape, and the beauty that comes with every season."
Michael is primarily a plein air painter and feels that painting from life adds a dimension to his work that is difficult to replicate in the studio. "I believe the challenge of working out in the elements gives a painting a certain spontaneity and freshness that captures a moment in time."
What you might find even more interesting is that Michael began oil painting only four years ago and put together this show while holding down a full time job. "Painting for this show was no doubt a challenge that I was up for, but add to the mix that I only had evenings and weekends to paint, catapulted me into another gear of intensity."
"There are many people I have to thank for helping and inspiring me along my creative journey. However, for this show I am choosing to honor one person in particular: the very first person to inspire me to paint...... As a late teen I watched her periodically bring home paintings from a weekly class and wanted to ask if I could try it, but I never did. Maybe I wasn't ready..... I remember receiving one of her paintings for my 18th birthday that I still cherish today. And more than 25 years later I am taking my mother's inspiration to another level in a show of my own. A tree has grown from that seed planted so long ago."
"I have you to thank, Mom, for passing on the inspiration of oil painting to me. I am hopeful to do the same for another."
Moods of the Pacific Northwest
Dedicated to the memory of
Betsy Lindstrom