Featured Artist Steven Mikel

Artist Steven Mikal uses a unique medium for his warm, sepia toned abstract and realism paintings—liquid coffee! Learn more about this artist and his fascinating work by visiting his website.

 

“Pumpkin Patch Floor” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Arches 300lb Rough Paper, 28.25" x 20" by artist Steven Mikel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Pumpkin Patch Floor” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Arches 300lb Rough Paper, 28.25″ x 20″

 

I use the ordinary to expose the often missed. Working with only leftover or expired coffee manipulated with brushes, spackling knives, old t-shirts and other various bits and pieces of absorbent or discarded materials, I strive to bring attention to the many compositions and inherent beauty that is hidden, sometimes tucked away within nooks and crannies, in the world around us.

 

“Seaside” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Canvas, 36" x 48" by artist Steven Mikel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Seaside” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Canvas, 36″ x 48″

 

I am passionate about our gift, as humans, to be able to “see” beyond simple observation.

 

“Old Residences” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Arches 300lb Rough Paper, 19" x 12" by artist Steven Mikel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Old Residences” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Arches 300lb Rough Paper, 19″ x 12″

 

This gift, however, is often neglected as a result of our addiction to technology and our hustle and bustle lifestyles. We no longer “stop to smell the roses” let alone allow ourselves to take a moment to truly “see” all the incredible art that exists naturally in the world around us.

 

“Rainy Pane” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Canvas, 60" x 48" by artist Steven Mikel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Rainy Pane” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Canvas, 60″ x 48″

 

I make art composed of intertwined leaves and branches gathered by the breeze along the edge of a parking lot, or the subtle nuances of tonal shades and abstract forms that can be seen within the rain as it weaves it’s path down a window pane.

 

“Shoreline” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Canvas, 36" x 24" by artist Steven Mikel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Shoreline” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Canvas, 36″ x 24″

 

After painting with traditional watercolors until 2008, I began experimenting with liquid coffee as a medium, researching and developing a process that results in finished and sealed monochromatic paintings of warm sepia tones exhibiting the light fastness and stability of archival oil paintings.

 

“Dr. Phillips Center South” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Arches 300lb Rough Paper, 18" x 11" by artist Steven Mikel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Dr. Phillips Center South” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Arches 300lb Rough Paper, 18″ x 11″

 

Originally I used watercolor techniques to produce almost photographic depictions of my subjects and unique perspectives. Later, I expanded into my abstract style.

 

“Florida Fans” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Arches 300lb Rough Paper, 28" x 20" by artist Steven Mikel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Florida Fans” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Arches 300lb Rough Paper, 28″ x 20″

 

For my realism paintings, I typically work from a detailed pencil sketch in my sketchbook and lightly lay out the composition on Arches 300 lb rough paper.

 

Artist Steven Mikel in his studio working on "Woven." See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

Artist Steven Mikel in his studio working on “Woven”

 

This layout may be only a few lines with basic shapes or extremely detailed, depending on the painting subject. Then, starting with the lightest tones, I begin applying washes of liquid coffee, carefully painting around areas that will remain as highlights. I continue to apply progressively darker tones, layering to add shadows and details until the painting is finished.

 

“Woven” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Canvas, 30" x 40" by artist Steven Mikel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Woven” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Canvas, 30″ x 40″

 

My abstract works usually begin with an idea or composition in mind. I start by underpainting a stretched canvas with various dark coffee washes, tilting and manipulating it.

 

“Dark Roast Masquerade” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Canvas, 24" x 36" by artist Steven Mikel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Dark Roast Masquerade” Archivally Sealed Coffee on Canvas, 24″ x 36″

 

Based upon the effect I want to achieve, I allow the coffee wash to dry to a certain point and then begin to remove and reapply new coffee layers using different types of absorbent materials, brushes and tools to form the sepia toned patterns.

 

Artist Steven Mikel invites you to follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

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