Michael Brown RBSA
Societies & associations:
About the artist:
W. Michael Brown studied at Brighton Art College from 1950-55 before his National Service in Malaya.
He began his teaching career in the Black Country in 1957 and moved to Shropshire four years later, where he painted in oils and grew to love the Shropshire landscape. In 1968/9 he took a further post-graduate diploma in Art Education at Birmingham University. This led to a move to Warwickshire and to teaching in two large Comprehensives in Birmingham.
It was at this time that he became attracted to watercolour and became an energetic member – from Secretary to President – of the Birmingham Watercolour Society. Later he was elected a member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. All his work was completed out of doors and he now broadened his interests in other media beyond oils and watercolour, to include pastels, pen and ink, wood engraving and etching. He took commissions for portraits in oils – notably amongst them portraits of Sir Wilfrid Martineau and Lady Martineau.
His interest in teaching also diverged, and he started teaching adults in Further Education and in his own classes and workshops. It was just one step from becoming one of the few demonstrators in the Midlands who could use a multiplicity of media and subject matter. Towards the end of his teaching career he was asked to produce a mural 28ʻ x 8ʻ in Whitacre Village Hall, funded by the Arts Council. This was the largest commission he had produced to date but, as he was still teaching, he had to work totally in the weekends and holidays.
After retirement in 1987 he opened a studio/workshop at Middleton Hall Craft Centre where he sold quick portraits in chalk and pastel as well as paintings, cards and engravings. He then began to work on more studio-based paintings, semi-cubist in style, and it was a development of this work that led to the present mural in Much Wenlock. He has exhibited mainly in the West Midlands, either solo or as a member of a society, and also in Cambridgeshire, London, Cornwall and France. His work is in collections in the U.K., Europe, U.S.A., Canada and Japan.
The artist moved back to Shropshire in 2003, which he said felt like coming home.