Featured Artist Michael Orwick

Artist Michael Orwick’s shimmering, light-infused landscapes fill the senses with their peaceful beauty. See more of his portfolio by visiting his website.

 

Oil landscape painting of sunlight through trees by Michael Orwick

“Changing Seasons” Oil on Canvas, 60” x 48”

 

A thank you letter.

Seven years ago, I received a very surprising phone call from my wonderful high school biology teacher, Mrs. Brown, to let me know I had been inducted into the inaugural Hall of Fame for my home town of Lebanon, Oregon.

 

Oil landscape painting of a sunset by Michael Orwick

“Evening Embers” Oil on Panel, 12″ x 12″

 

A day or so after getting the call, I saw a bumper sticker that eloquently described how I felt at that moment, “Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.” That was it. I felt like an impostor.

 

OIl landscape painting of a cloud filled sky by Michael Orwick

“Cloud Opening” Oil, 12″ x 12″

 

You should understand, growing up dyslexic, school was hard. Any subject with letters, or numbers, or dates or facts—they seemed harder for me than most kids. Although, if the assignment was visual, or creative—AHHHHH, it was like the clouds parting and angels singing! I felt like saying, “Step back citizens, I have this, everything is under control.”

 

Oil landscape painting of a marsh by Michael Orwick

“Interlude” Oil on Canvas, 36″ x 48″

 

In fourth grade, I was placed into special classes of which art, the one thing I was really good at, was not a part. My community, however, was watching out for me. My teacher, Mr. Sweet, found a way for me to attend art classes at Seven Oaks Middle School with older students. I was so lucky. Scared, but lucky. I loved those challenging classes with the “big kids” and learned a lot.

 

Oil painting based on the wetlands of the Tualatin River by Michael Orwick

“Atmosphere” Oil, 12″ x 12″

 

This is just one example of the people in my life focusing on my strengths—not my weaknesses—and encouraging me to follow my passion and talent for art.

 

Oil Landscape painting of the Columbia Gorge by Michael Orwick

“Columbia Gorge” Oil on Canvas, 60″ x 48″

 

I am aware of so many artists that insist that their success is in spite of people in their past who didn’t believe in their passion. I didn’t have those people in my life. Thankfully, I grew up and uncovered my passion in Lebanon. I have an entire town of people who made it possible to discover and pursue my art. Thank you!

 

Oil landscape painting of marshlands by Michael Orwick

“Meditation on the Season” Oil on Panel, 12″ x 16″

 

As a youngster, I wondered if I should be a doctor like my dad. When I asked him, he responded, “People like you and me… are lucky, we know what we want to be when we grow up. Many people never do.” My mom and dad always encouraged my siblings and I to pursue that which we loved. So, the biggest “Thank You” goes to my parents—Laurie and Ken Orwick, the educator and the healer.

 

Oil landscape painting of a sunlit marsh by Michael Orwick

“Bright Waters” Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 36″

 

In the years since receiving the phone call from Mrs. Brown, I have had time to reflect and truly begin to appreciate this honor. I’m a seventh generation Lebonite—that town is literally in my blood.

 

Oil landscape painting of Oregon vineyards by Michael Orwick

“Vineyards Rest” Oil on Canvas, 40″ x 30″

 

When you look at my work, you’ll quickly recognize that my artistic aesthetic is based on the things I loved while growing up. Clear creeks, dirt roads, the smell of freshly cut hayfields and the way tractors kick up dust making beautiful warm sunsets. Much of this is what my grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather saw.

 

Artist Michael Orwick with his painting "Borrowed Colors of the Sea"

Artist Michael Orwick with his painting “Borrowed Colors of the Sea”

 

I feel honored that I get to observe and capture it on canvas. I’m so grateful to be a small part of Lebanon’s rich history. Who can we inspire or help around us? Who can we thank that helped us to find our way to who we have become?

 

Artist Michael Orwick invites you to follow him on Facebook and visit his Curated Storefront.

 

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YES PLEASE!

Comments

  1. These are all wonderful. I could not choose a favorite.

  2. ann marie snyder says

    Michael,
    I am glad so many people in your life paid attention to your talents and helped you be able to pursue them. And it is great that you don’t forget those who did. The colors in Columbia Gorge are just stunning! I like how you portray nature.
    Ann Marie

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