Michael Howard was born in Lancashire in 1950, he currently lives near Brecon in Wales. After spending the better part of the 1970’s travelling around the world he attended Chelsea School of Art (1979 - 1982). During the 1980’s Michael Howard was a successful Automata Makerexhibiting widely in the UK and abroad. This work can be seen in public collections such as The Victoria and Albert Museum and Edinburgh Museum of Childhood. In the 1990’s he began teaching and returned to painting. In 2012 he left his job as Head of Art Rugby School and he is now painting full-time and exhibiting regularly.
As a painter he regards himself as a kind of filter or interpreter of the world around him. HisLandscapesoften focus on the presence of human activity, walls, tracks, hedgerows, rural industry, farming and other traces that define and shape the hills and mountains that surround his home near Brecon in Powys. However, in this exhibition and for the last couple of years, his paintings are focused on the shifting patterns, shapes and light in the local woodlands.
Michael finds painting extremely difficult. The deeper and more involved he becomes the more everything seems to shift. Issues that he thought resolved in the last painting seem irrelevant in the next piece. He says that it’s a bit like when you put something down and you look again and the thing has disappeared and so his time seems to be spent looking for this ever elusive thing that he can’t quite put his finger on.
Michael’s paintings demonstrate a deep sense of familiarity with the landscape, but that said, maximum resemblance holds little interest for him. His paintings reveal themselves slowly and continually. His work combines painterly abstract values with radical ideas about the landscape. They are topographically faithful, but they are much more about
gesture, the application of materials, colour selection, confident mark making and the struggle to resolve the visual issues and problems that are a constant companion of the creative process. In short his artwork is primarily about pure painting.