Cool White Aspen

This is done in the studio from a plein air painting I did in Yellowstone Park this summer.

I did it using only 3 primary colors and titanium white.

Lemmon Yellow, Cad Red Medium and French Ultramarine blue.


All the best,
Michael Orwick
Orwick Arts


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Michael Orwick

About Michael Orwick

My Life in One Page, by Michael Orwick

I was born in 1975 on a sunny day in Astoria Oregon.  Despite my near death experience at birth, my Mom thought I was perfect.  My Dad, a physician, knew better.  These assessments continue today.


Within days of my recovery, my adventures began.  Our small family moved to the Olympic Peninsula to live on the Quinault Indian Reservation as Dad served in the Indian Health Service.   Most of my memories from those very early years involve an ancient Indian woman known as Gram Black, eating live clams on cold foggy beaches, and our performing circus poodle.


From two to four, our family moved to Boise.  My parents got me a Golden Retriever who taught me the joy of peeing outside, and they adopted my Colombian sister who taught me patience and the importance of proper grooming.


At the age of four I became the seventh generation on my mother's side to live in "the town that friendliness built," Lebanon Oregon, home of the world's largest strawberry shortcake. Over the years, my family created a sort of odd animal sanctuary and hobby farm with a revolving cast of colorful creatures to ride, observe and endlessly scoop up after. My bedroom was in the tack room, which I shared with my youngest sister's goat.  To this day, there is no love lost between me and the nasty rooster who ***-a-doodled any old time.


Very early it was discovered that I had dyslexia, and that I saw things differently from most. School was difficult, but in hindsight this was one of many blessing that have led and helped shape my artful existence.  I was also lucky to grow up surrounded by beautiful creeks and evergreen wilderness, and within a family that loved to travel, encouraged curiosity and following one's heart. And my heart has always told me to create.


I started college at the University of Oregon, and for reasons I cannot recollect, I majored in business.  Two years in and losing motivation, I jumped at the chance to move to Australia for half a year where I filled up sketch pads with drawings and small paintings. The thought of returning to business classes never crossed my mind. 


I spent the next year a transient, sleeping on friend's couches and beanbags putting together a portfolio, and starting to date my future wife, a beautiful Bulgarian named Gabriela.


Gaby and I started our life together in Portland, Oregon where I majored in Illustration at Pacific Northwest College of Art.  I discovered that oil painting and the method of working from dark to light really worked with my "backwards brain."


When I'm not illustrating books, I still find my whimsical images and my landscapes to be very illustrative. I love creating art that invites you on a journey, in which you're invited to form a story and explore your world within.


Gaby's and my daughter, a creative, inquisitive four year old, has kept me in touch with my perpetual child within. Throughout my life, I have been lucky to know beauty and comfort, laughter and joy.    These are a few of the things I hope to impart through my brushes. 


I look forward to continuing my adventures, inviting inspiration and beauty into my life, and sharing it with you through my paintings.


Painting a Story

The Artwork of Michael Orwick


“Michael Orwick at his best melds pictorial storytelling with a hauntingly familiar world.  He creates compelling views of our world that move beyond time and place – full environments for your mind to explore, your senses to imagine…”

 -Mari Rockett - Curator, DragonFire Gallery


Growing up in the Oregon Cascades and the Willamette Valley, nature and the rich landscape have had a profound impact on Michael. He has always been awed by the extraordinary ability of landscapes to tell stories, just as art does.


Michael’s career in art started in animation (Will Vinton Studios) and moved quickly into illustration, where he enjoyed bringing the ideas of others to life.


Today Michael is creating what he calls “Inspired Expressionism,” painting his own ideas on canvas and inviting you to provide the narrative. 


Michael offers hints of the mood through atmosphere and serene colors, suggesting a place and a time of day.  It is what he leaves untold that grabs you, though. He shares his enigmatic vision and invites you to imagine your own story.  And often you can’t help the feeling that you have ‘seen this place,’ as if through a car window or in passing to somewhere else…


Orwick’s paintings grant you the rare chance to go back and explore a special place that fuels the imagination.


Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.  -Magritte


Artist Statement


There is a reason we are drawn toward beauty, it is the language of God and nature. To me there is nothing more provocative than beauty, it inspires deep reflection and motivates me to create.


I mix from a primary color palette, painting wet into wet and with layers, to both reveal and hide what lies behind; in this way I entice you into the painting.  I love it when people share the feeling and stories my paintings evoked.


It is my sincere wish that you will want to revisit these beautiful locations and painterly stories again and again.