April 14th LGAA Meeting - Demo Artist Michael Holter

LGAA Meeting

Monday, April 14th -7pm 

Michael Holter 

Michael Holter, a North Dakota transplant now living in Plano, creates loose and luminous portraits in watercolor, a talent he will demonstrate at the April meeting of the Lake Granbury Art Association. This writer's impression of watercolor is “unforgiving”, though I am certain there must be some trade tricks or processes that aid in avoiding watercolor disaster. Conversely, with oil or acrylic, one can wait until a mistake is dry, then correct it with more paint. (Of course, there is a limit as to how many times one can correct without building a blob.) Most folks feel, also, that figurative work, especially portraiture, is particularly difficult. Holter makes both seem easy.

For a taste of what he will present at the April 14 meeting, watch a “speeded-up” demonstration of one of his portraits at www.youtube.com/user/michaelholter. Notice how he builds layers of rich, warm shadows and tiny details to create the essence of his subject.

Holter is not limited to figurative work or watercolor. His portfolio includes landscapes and images of people, in either oil or watercolor; he is both a studio artist and paints en plein aire, a French term meaning “in the open air”.

Though Holter earned a bachelors degree in art education and a masters in visual communication, he is mostly self-taught and influenced by artists such as Charles Reid, Richard Schmid, John Singer Sargent and other notables. Miles and miles of work on canvas and paper have honed and individualized his skill.

Holter and his wife, Cyndy, often travel, he says, “enjoying the beauty of God's creation.” Some of his most recent work was inspired by a recent trip to Istanbul and the Mediterranean regions of Turkey. A key painting in this series is Gypsy at the Gate, which can be seen on his website, www.michaelholter.com.

Signature Membership in a national or international art society is an esteemed notation for an artist. It means the artist has been “juried in” to a specific number of that society's exhibitions. The artist may then add the initials of such society under or beside his/her signature on a painting. Holter is an honored signature member of three prestigious watercolor groups. In addition to his website, Holter's work is featured in galleries in Clifton, Salado and Ruidoso.

Holter says, “I think of my work as impressionistic. I like to represent people or places and allow the painting to evolve from the structure of what is recognizable. The challenge is to balance the care needed to make the representation interesting...and perhaps believable, with the freedom, looseness and painterly quality that makes painting so unique and expressive.”