Michael Rhoades paints in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern Virginia. His house/studio/art gallery, which is located on the edge of a serene little creek in the middle of a virgin forest, is ideally suited as a source of inspiration. This peaceful setting is conducive to all of his creative endeavors. Whether he is painting plen air or purely from stream of consciousness, his work is intended to be an idyllic reminder of the often missed beauty all around us, which a slight shift in perspective often reveals.
Michael’s paintings are generally oils on canvas although he sometimes works with other media such as acrylics, pastels, bits of paper towel or canvas paper. As with most painters, contrast is a motivating formal element… light and dark, bright and dull, large and small, near and far… and many other contrasting themes pervade his thinking and his work. He often describes himself as an abstract realist. This might at first seem like an oxymoron and yet it somehow describes the feeling one gets when looking at his paintings. This paradoxical approach permeates all aspects of his work.
In the world of human beings we become wrapped up in our daily lives and so lose track of our place in this universe. Yet, if we quiet our minds, we can be in touch with something beyond the tip of the iceberg we call life. From that perspective we become aware of a broader consciousness. Michael’s paintings are intended to be reminders of the path to a greater awareness… as such they are merely breadcrumbs or signposts… the paintings themselves do not matter… what matters is the path they point to… a peaceful place that exists within each of us, which cannot be disturbed by the ebb and flow of human striving.
We are all influenced by that which we have experienced and yet, Michael is perpetually fostering a state of letting go of all that in order to allow something new and original to appear…. a process of letting go of the known in favor of an act of creativity. Thus the hope is to promote that creative spirit within whoever comes across his work….