The Pastel Cityscape
Mike Berry creates high color, expressively interpreted cityscape paintings. He will be presenting the works and influences that were the foundation to his working style and his history and explanations of current subjects and styles in his personal art practice.
Information about the Artist
Mike C. Berry is a versatile painter who works in pastels, oils and acrylics. His colorful and vibrant compositions often bending and twisting the cityscape have become his easily identifiable style. With his use of pure color and gestural brushstrokes, he credits Wolf Kahn, James Stagg, Chaim Soutine, Edward Hopper, Joseph Delaney and many modern painters have influenced his work. Further examination of Mike’s biography and his sources of influences behind his oeuvre, reveal an artist who works with passion and solid technique to create a genuinely original body of work.
Mike is originally from the Midwest and studied illustration at the Savannah College of Art & Design, where he holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Art. He has exhibited regionally over the past decade and is currently represented by the District Gallery in Knoxville and the River Gallery in Chattanooga, TN. Mike’s interests have led him to explore the restlessness of city life, which has developed his signature artistic theme: movement of the cityscape.
As Mike discovered, pastel lends itself to being an excellent medium for quickly expressing layers of different colors and laying down a rough composition. These smaller works are often used as studies for larger works, which are further developments of his theme of movement through the landscape. Application of the pastel is done on a sanded archival paper that’s mounted to rigid panel. The larger works, with the compositions already achieved in the studies, are translated into oils or acrylics that have been applied to a medium toned canvas very rapidly, usually completing the work “alla prima.”
“My works are personal views of modern day experiences, combined with my fascination with drawing and curving perspectives along with dramatic lighting which lends itself, stylistically to the use of vivid color and bold bravado brushwork. My goal is to present fresh perspectives with the use of gestural and expressive brushwork to capture the essence of movement or activity through vibrant color application.”
Mike currently manages the UT Downtown Gallery and maintains a private studio in his home where he creates commissioned works for clients. Mike has been selected to serve as the 2021 co-chair of the Dogwood Arts Festival and currently serves on the board of Knox Heritage. He and his family have lived in Knoxville since 1999.
Artist Website: mikecberry.com