Michael McSorley

Industrial Plant, oil

Artist Biography:

Mike started making art at a young age. He drew and sculpted people and animals from imagination. In high school he focused on art, taking a 2-period class for seniors. It was during his college years that the realm of painting beckoned, specifically the discipline of capturing life in its purest essence, encompassing everything from still-life compositions to landscapes and intricate figures.

Mike’s artistic journey has been punctuated by notable achievements and recognition, with his works being featured prominently in both regional and national exhibitions. His artistic prowess garnered him several solo exhibitions and coveted awards, including the prestigious Arts and Humanities Fellowship Program Grants bestowed by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for three consecutive years: 2020, 2021, and 2022. In 2019, his talents secured him a place as an Eligible Artist at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Notably, his creation “Eckington Korner” found its rightful place in The Washingtonia Collection, acquired through the esteemed DC Creates! Public Art Program in 2016. Similarly, “Along the Patuxent” was acquired by the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies in 2022.

Standing as a testament to his skill and recognition within the artistic community, Mike clinched First Place awards at the Plein-Air festivals held in Berlin, MD (2016) and Falls Church, VA (2017). A recent milestone in his career was a solo exhibit hosted at The Art League within The Torpedo Factory, located in Alexandria, VA, in June 2023.

Throughout his artistic journey, Mike’s solo exhibitions have graced various esteemed venues, including The Arts Club of Washington DC (2022), the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD (2021), the Hill Center in Washington, DC (2019), The Art League Gallery in Alexandria (2018), the 43rd Street Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA (2015), and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, PA (2014). Additionally, he showcased his creations as part of a trio at the Brentwood Arts Exchange in 2021.

Mike moved to Delaware with his wife in 2022

Artist Statement:

My paintings are a continuation of my childhood fascination with the visual world. At the age of 8, I was taking photos with an old film camera. My pictures of bicycle wheels, sewage pumps and other inane objects vexed my parents but predicted my future creative production. I developed a sensitivity for the mundane. Bored with school, I filled the margins of my notebooks, turning circles into spheres, creating 3 dimensional objects from any shape or printed word. Attributing personality and life to all subjects matured into an empathy for them which pervades my current work. Every subject has a spirit. There is a spark of the designer within it. In the process of painting something, I am respecting that fire of creativity, while giving the painting its own artistic force. My paintings show the passing of time. The subject is painted and repainted. Changes occur. Time lapses. I paint over the subject and make changes. Prior elements of the subject may remain as a memory or shadow. The painting becomes active. Through my process of scraping, wiping, and repainting the image, I find the life that the subject possesses. This creation, destruction, and evolution leads to the finished piece. The prior images may remain or be obscured, but the remnants are there. It is an analogy for life, scarred but surviving.

My process has been augmented with color theory, atmosphere, edge quality and experimentation. Sometimes the image is drawn using graphite and brushed around with thinner. The background color is blocked in, pulling the graphite into the paint, and using it to darken and tone down the edges. This layer is thin, and the ground of the board can reflect through. This increases the intensity of the color and by brushing, scraping, and rubbing, the color can be accented. I am constantly learning and experimenting with my paintings.