Michael Sole graduated from Wimbledon College of Art in London in 2008. Since then he has gone on to exhibit in several hugely successful group and solo shows across England and France selling out completely by the end of each show.
He was awarded "Young Artist of the Year" two years running (2009 & 2010) at the annual Royal Society of Marine Artists show for his wo...rk exhibited in the Mall Galleries, London. In 2017 he was shortlisted for the esteemed Threadneedle prize.
From his Bournemouth studio, Michael produces powerful and evocative paintings inspired by nature - typically sea, coast and mountains. Whilst nature is the broad subject matter, rather than thinking of himself as a 'landscape or seascape painter', Michael describes himself as part of an art movement termed “involuntaryism.”
"The concept behind my paintings completely relies upon the idea of involuntary mark making. How the materials react with one another and how I go about applying them to the canvas. With this concept in mind, nature, with its natural geometry, is the perfect subject as a base to experiment from.
The idea of involuntarylism is allowing the paint's characteristics and gravity to produce the marks, creating organic patterns, atmosphere and substantiation, allowing the painting to have a life of its own. As all my paintings are made on the floor, Involuntarylism is subject to me ‘puppeteering’ the paint, using gravity and built up knowledge of the materials and past experiences, to create the painting. The artist’s involvement is purely to manipulate the paint, canvas, colours and consistencies so as to exaggerate as strongly as possible the resulting organic textures and marks."
Often he spends months at a time observing his choice of subject matter, completely immersing himself in the task. Armed with a fishing rod and a tent, he walks for miles and miles collecting his thoughts. This approach encourages the artist to totally immerse himself in the spirit and feel of a place observing and deeply imbuing the mood it emits. Back at the studio he “regurgitates” this experience on canvas, where a subconscious link between hand and mind is generated. The result produces a strong visceral impact on the viewer.
"The sea and the sky are fascinating to me, especially in extreme circumstances such as during storms. In painting I feel very strongly that energy must be met with energy. By this I mean big seas and powerful subject matter benefits from energetic, physical and confident painting which usually includes allowing the paint to have its own way, without using a brush. Dripping, pouring, throwing, lifting, shaking all add to these involuntary effects. Through these processes and techniques I hope to capture the power and atmosphere of the environment that I have placed myself into".
Michael produces extraordinary large canvasses which his studio, a converted Victorian Gymnasium with its light and space, presents to superb effect. These he complements with an ongoing selection of mid-sized and smaller works and affordable limited edition prints.
Michael's Awards include:
Shortlist for the Threadneedle Prize 2017
Global Art Awards Finalist 2017
National Open Art Award finalist 2017
Cill Railag residency award 2017
Finalist - Dorset Landscape Painter of the Year 2017
Winner - Sherfield Open Exhibitions 2016
Arts Charitable Trust Award 2013
Royal Society of Marine Artist Young Artist of the Year Award 2010 & 2009