Born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1946, Michael Whitlow now resides in both the Northern California countryside and the Mexican Riviera. Initially headed for a career in business administration, Whitlow was drawn to art when upon graduating from San Jose State University he spent nearly a year touring Europe and some of its greatest museums. The vast wealth of art that he discovered was a revelation to him, being particularly drawn to the realism of the old masters. “I remember feeling moved by the exacting detail and the beautiful interplay of light and dark present in works by the likes of Vermeer, Rembrandt and Rubens” Whitlow stated.
Upon his return to America, the aspiration to paint came suddenly to Whitlow. “I was entering a new phase in my life and felt a deep yearning for more spiritual insight. My desire to paint was awakened during this transformative time and I intuitively knew this is what I wanted to do and could do successfully”. Embarking on a journey of intense research, Whitlow tapped into his artistic talent hitherto unknown to him. Concerning his education and development as an artist, Whitlow declares, “I was totally self-taught and a realist from the beginning. Starting out very traditional in my painting, I developed certain techniques which I later discovered to be similar to those used by old masters. I was like a seventeenth century painter living in the twenty first century and it seemed as though the more understanding I perceived within myself, the more realistic my paintings would become”. In 1971, Whitlow launched his career as an artist.
After 39 years as a professional gallery artist exhibiting in Hawaii, Australia and California, Whitlow has evolved into an award winning artist with numerous Best In Still Life and Best In Show honors. Working in the realist genre, he aims to convey the beauty and tranquility he finds in nature to his audience and is constantly seeking to expand his mastery of painting. Whitlow states, “Painting makes me feel happy and serene. If someone can feel the sense of joy and peacefulness I feel when I paint, then we have communicated something very intimate and beautiful. This touches upon the greatest art of all, the art of our humanness”.