Featured Artist Michael Dumas

Painter Michael Dumas captures the beauty of wildlife and the natural world in this exquisite collection from his portfolio. See more by visiting his website.


painting of a bird on a Dutch door by Michael Dumas

“Dutch Door” oil on Russian birch, 5.5″ x 8.25″


My art evolves from drawing and my paintings are simply extensions of it. I draw nearly every day—numerous sketch books, drawers and boxes are filled with decades of sketches and studies from life.


painting of doves by Michael Dumas

“First Born” oil on Russian birch, 16″ x 12″


I don’t seek out any particular thing to draw. What does come, most often comes unexpectedly. If it is especially strong and lingers, it may well inspire me to express something of it in paint.


portrait of an Eastern Phoebe in a window at Bellamy's Mill by Michael Dumas

“Looking Out” oil on Russian birch, 8.75″ x 16.5″


A good example is a painting titled Looking Out. The initial sketches and studies are of Bellamy’s Mill, a 19th Century working flour mill. I was attracted to the light flaring on white flour sacks and the deep shadows hiding in the corners of the room. The brief appearance of an eastern phoebe while I sketched turned out to be an important event, despite the tiny size of the bird. The idea that guides Looking Outs arrangement of objects, light and shadow, and the attitude of the phoebe alludes to the distinct feeling of my being confined to the interior of the room. This directly contrasts with the open window and the phoebe’s easy access out and away. The areas of most interest are also those being influenced by the light from outside.


three view painting of the Hybrid Falcon by Michael Dumas

“Hybrid Falcon” graphite and oil on Russian birch, 12.5″ x 12.5″


At times, the free form arrangement of several sketches on a single page is carried over to finished studio work. Hybrid Falcon for example, has the medium of graphite balanced with a painted area.


painting of the flight of the Kestrel by Michael Dumas

“Flight of the Kestrel” oil on Russian birch, 12″ x 8″


This is carried one step further in Flight of the Kestrel. Here the composition is reminiscent of a study sketch, but is developed as a completely finished painting.


painting of a bird by Michael Dumas

“Mid-Day Sun” oil on Russian birch, 13.5″ x 20″


Although I paint a variety of things—from people, rural objects, wildlife in general and an occasional landscape—birds seem to dominate much of my work. The presence of sparrows and other common birds is especially noticeable. I hesitate to even suggest why this might be, but the interest goes back as far as I can remember.


painting of a bird in the snow by Michael Dumas

“Storm Front” oil on panel, 12.5″ x 16.25″


I grew up on the eastern entrance to Algonquin Park, and later worked there as a forest ranger to pay my way through art college. The natural landscape and the things in it have been companions my entire life, so it seems altogether fitting that most of my art would reflect it.


painting of a bird near a shovel by Michael Dumas

“The Opportunist” oil on Russian birch, 9.5″ x 15″


Upon graduating art college, I apprenticed under one of my instructors in his Toronto studio, followed by two years as an illustrator for a book publisher.


painting of sparrows and statues in the Louvre by Michael Dumas

“Influx” oil on Russian birch, 17.25″ x 10.25″


During those two years I painted for myself every evening, plus one day on the weekend. I launched my full-time art career while in my mid-twenties, painting the things I loved, and in the way I was compelled to paint them.


Artist Michael Dumas at work in his studion on his painting "Looking Out"

Artist Michael Dumas at work in his studion on his painting “Looking Out”


Despite many obstacles, including the shifting preferences of the art world, it is my pleasure and satisfaction to have met these challenges on my own terms. Be that as it may, I am both aware and thankful for the many supporters of my art, without whom I could not have pursued the dream.


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  1. Lovely paintings. The backgrounds are excellent complements to the birds.

    • Michael Dumas says

      Thank you Martha. I choose backgrounds by the way they grab my attention. It could be the light, or the structure of objects, even interesting textures. Most backgrounds are the actual locations where I have observed the particular bird.

  2. Michael,
    I love your paintings of your birds that combine your studies or drawings of them. I am a wildlife artist and tend to like painting birds also. Their are so many different species in the world. “Hybrid Falcon” and “Midday sun ” are wonderful.
    Ann Marie

    • Michael Dumas says

      Thank you Ann Marie. I’ve always had a desire to really know and understand my subject matter, particularly in terms of posture, attitude, anatomy, even a sense of personality and defining characteristics, some fundamental truth of it. So studies become the foundation upon which everything depends. In some ways, the studies can hit directly to the heart of it all, and the ‘finished’ work is a sort of overview in which the things learned are invited in some way.

  3. Congratulations Michael!
    I will miss you in Wisconsin this year at Birds in Art, assuming the Canadian border will be open and you will be there.

    • Michael Dumas says

      Hi Chris. Ellen and I won’t be attending Birds in Art this year, and we will surely miss seeing everyone there. Hopefully 2022 will be a more normal year for travel. In the meantime I look forward to seeing your entry in this year’s exhibition. All the Best.

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