Last weekend, TECO Public Art Gallery in downtown Tampa opened a solo exhibition of artist Mike King’s watercolor and acrylic paintings “Art From the Heartland,” images of rural and urban Florida scenes to Brooklyn, NY, and Maryland. Mike’s influences in watercolor come from Andrew Wyeth, Edgar Whitney, and Tony Couch. His abstract works were inspired by abstract expressionist artists Hans Hoffmann, Jackson Pollock and Sam Francis. “I apply what Pollock said about his own work: “Every painting has a life of its own. I just try to let it come through.”
Mike was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1952. After studying art at Allegany College in Cumberland, Maryland, he moved to Tampa in 1973. He has studied with Professor Emeritus Bruce Marsh of the University of South Florida, but says he is self-taught in watercolor and acrylics.
King has been affiliated with galleries in Florida over the past thirty years including Nuance Gallery in Tampa, Vincent William Gallery in St. Petersburg and Philmore Gallery in Sarasota. He has done commissioned pieces for individuals and well known local and national corporations, among them; The Miller Brewing Company, Tampa General Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital, The University of Tampa, Hillsborough County, Dann Ocean Towing, the law firms of Foley & Lardner and Dykema-Gossett, Ross Office Products and South Atlantic Capitol Corporation. He has also completed commissions in Maryland, Michigan and North Carolina. Mike is notably proud of a portrait commission of Prince Norodhom Sihanouk and his wife Princess Monique of Cambodia.
An artist talk is planned for Fourth Friday, July 27 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the gallery. King will present a Talk & Tour of the exhibition and share thoughts about his work, his inspirations and discuss techniques he believes have improved his work over the years. Mike currently teaches privately basic to advanced watercolor and acrylic painting and drawing. The event is free and open to the public.
Mike King’s Artist Statement
I draw and paint what interests me. My representational pieces are taken from photos or done plein air which I love because plein air painting captures the immediacy of your own impressions better than a photo. I usually start with a post card sized sketch of the scene where I map out the value pattern first to create visual order and a center of focus. Most famous figurative paintings are begun this way. My abstract pieces come from my imagination, which I paint spontaneously and quickly. However, I try to impose a variety of design elements and some design principles to unify the painting and avoid a chaotic, visually jarring image. Because they are done in acrylic, I can paint over the image if it doesn’t look and feel right.
The TECO Public Art Gallery is at 702 North Franklin Street, Tampa, FL 33602. It is open Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm. For information about the gallery, please contact Curator Debra Radke at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about the artist please visit his website at www.mikekingart.com or contact him at email@example.com.
This post expires on Wednesday August 1, 2018.