Painting from life, Lon Michels captures the essence and personality of each subject, forever immortalizing them in rich hues and resplendent patterning. Creating bold still-lifes, landscapes, and portraits, his paintings become conversations of vivid colors and intricate details that often explore themes of male and female beauty.
Influenced by modern day celebrities and famous artists from the past, Michels embraces images of Oprah and famous works by Picasso, Manet and da Vinci and reinvents them in his own paintings.
Lon Michels grew up in a small Midwest town of northern Wisconsin. After earning his BFA from Ripon College, he moved to New York City to become a working artist and studio assistant for the famed sculptor Louise Nevelson for five years.
After suffering an infection in his optic nerve, Michels was blinded for nearly two years. Through specialized treatment, Michels regained his sight and continued his artistic pursuits by returning to school and receiving a MFA from University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2007 he was nominated for a Joan Mitchell grant in painting.
In 2019 the Saint Kate - Arts Hotel in Milwaukee commissioned Michels to create his over-the-top “Leopard Room” that turned a guest room into a unique art experience.
Michels’ work can be found in the collections of Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, WI; Circus World Museum, Baraboo, WI; West Point Town Hall, West Point, WI; Key West Customs House Art Museum, Key West, FL along with numerous private collections.
“In my lifetime I have learned that the best way to grow and learn is to share your experiences with others. In order to obtain knowledge I believe one must be able to give freely, which is a simple essence that all true artists do.”
Painted from the heart, Michels lifts our spirits with his beautiful and thoughtful works.