About the Artist

I’m self-taught in oil paintings on canvas. Most of the oil paintings were done in the 80s. Approximately 10-15 oil paintings still exist. It all launched as a weekend hobby. My life and career took the front stage over painting so there are virtually no paintings from 1995 to 2013. As I restarted painting around 2012, I chose Acrylic paints. By 2015 I began adding ink to my acrylic paintings. The pigments are rich and I primarily use ink for the highlights/lowlights.

Due to an injury, most paintings dated 2013-2015 were painted while I laid on my side on the floor. A few of those paintings have a slight tilt which reminds me of those days. By 2015-16 I was able to stand again to paint.

I typically paint from my imagination. I love to paint places I’d rather be. Most of my paintings are 100% make-believe. Occasionally a detail requires some research, for example when I needed my childhood bicycle or when I wanted to add a Ukrainian tractor to a farm in Ukraine, I looked up a few pictures and then blended those pictures together in my mind to fit the object into the paintings.

I have come to realize that I don’t like to see the signature on the painting while I am trying to enjoy the picture. I hide my signatures in shadows and in soft colors that nearly blend in. Wouldn't it be a nuisance if every time we heard a great song we heard the artist sing their name in the middle of the song? Who gave visual artists permission to plug their name while others enjoy the art?

Finally, I only get excited about 2-3% of the time when I see other artist's work. I assume only 2-3 % of visitors would really get excited about a piece of my work. For the other 97%, I understand it's not your thing, I still encourage you to flip through the pictures just for fun and imagine stepping into one of them. You will be spending a minute in a place I spent hours and hours, by choice!

Joe Mikes