Artist Michael Earney creates paintings that tell stories and invite interpretation. Please visit his website to see more of his work.
Most of the work shown here are parts of series. For example, The Mexican Mask series, Roadside Memorials Series, the Projectile Points Series, etc. Generally, I photograph the object to be painted, reference it as I paint, and create a background that seems to work or find material that I deem appropriate for the subject.
All of these acrylic on board or canvas paintings are studio easel works. Since my work is very detailed and takes a lot of time to produce, it became clear that unless I was either paid large sums of money for each one, sped up the process or chose another way to make a living, I would forever be the “Starving Artist.”
The Roadside Memorials and Mexican Produce series are ongoing, although I have taken a break from studio painting in favor of creating books.
The most recent is “The A to Z Book of Birds, an ABC for Young Bird-Lovers.” This has my watercolors of birds, one for each letter of the alphabet and the text that I wrote. “The A to Z Book of Weeds and Other Useful Plants” is in final layout production. These, together with some fiction, are all being assembled on the computer by me and my invaluable collaborator, Lynn Amos.
I work with other friends as well, and could not have completed any of these projects without their help. Going from working alone in the studio to elbow-to-elbow creating is a very different process. I have not experienced this since the days of final production on my films when mixing sound and image at a commercial production house.
It always comes down to relying on intuition, observation, perception and allowing the work to unfold in it’s own way, trusting instinct.
Every one of my works has a story behind it which seldom, if ever, gets told.
The Mask series has been collected in a book titled, “Magic Faces, Caras Magicas.” This book has a bilingual text that describes something about my process and the historical background on each mask. However, the story of collecting the material, and the travels, places and personalities encountered, would fill another book.
My latest project is another A to Z, this one of wildflowers. I also have two fictional books in the works. Hopefully they won’t take as long to complete as my first book, which is long finished but still awaiting publication. I’m still an artist, not starving, but always on that edge where most people prefer not to venture.