Experimental, Whimsical, & Lighthearted – Western Avenue Studios Artist Association (WASAA) member Michael Gruber enjoys distorting architectural compositions. This father of two received his architectural degree from Iowa State. Born and raised in Lowell, he enjoys painting local scenes and iconic buildings that evoke nostalgia. Approximately 10 years ago, he started taking art lessons at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. Prior to joining the Western Avenue community in July 2018, he painted above his garage in Lexington and in a small commercial space in Arlington.
His Process of Manipulation – Mike begins each piece by experimenting with various compositions through a series of thumbnails in his sketchbook. Once a strong distorted composition emerges, he begins his oil painting process by transferring his sketch onto a black canvas using a grid system. Using a reduced color palette, he develops sweeping curves or focal points that create unique architectural perspectives. While painting, Mike likes to listen to podcasts. Once a piece is finished, Mike encloses the canvas with a white or black wooden frame that he makes himself.
Significant Influences – During his childhood, Mike’s parents encouraged him to pursue art by enrolling him in art classes. In high school, he took drafting classes and spent a lot of his free time drawing buildings and city scenes. According to Mike, Linda McCluskey and James Michalopoulos are the two artists that have influenced his work the most.
Visiting Western Avenue Studios and Lofts – Mike is often in his studio Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 3:00pm. He will also be open during our next Open Studios on Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 12 – 5 p.m. Stop by and see his pieces for yourself!