This week I would like to introduce to you my friend and Artist Michael Lee Summers. He is an Artist who lives in the Paducah Kentucky area and his work is real to life and fantastic. Michael (or Mike) quoted Ringo Starr and said I was born “At a very early age” in Paducah, KY and I’ve lived here ever since. Mike attended Lone Oak High School and went to college at Murray State University. He is a member of the Paducah Area Painters Alliance (PAPA), the Art Guild of Paducah, and the Mayfield-Graves County Art Guild. He lives with his wife Deborah and their beautiful daughter Caitlin Autumn. He is a Virgo; his turn-offs are “Smiley faces” and the pop group ABBA. Without any further ado here is Michael Lee Summers!
David: We all had a time when we realized that we wanted to be an Artist or create, how did you start painting and drawing and realize that you wanted to take the path as an Artist?
Michael: I began drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil. My Mother recently gave me a box full of drawings I did when I was probably three or four, so I have proof! I think I decided to take the artist’s path when I heard artists could sleep past noon. (Editors note: How I wish that were true!)
David: You have beautiful real to life artwork. What is your favorite medium to work in?
Michael: The medium I enjoy most is pencil, pure and simple. It gives me the control I need for my highly detailed work, plus I enjoy the starkness of black and white. Recently, however, I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and tried my hand at painting brightly colored abstracts.
David: Who do you consider to be your favorite Artists and greatest influences?
Michael: I have several artists that I would consider influences .Vincent Van Gogh and I share similar outlooks on life. I love the photography of such visionaries as Ansel Adams and Edward S. Curtis. I greatly admire contemporary artists Paul Calle and Alan Lee but to me Andrew Wyeth is THE absolute Master, both in style and content.
David: There is a discipline to Art, but what inspires you to pick up a paint brush? Most Artists would say if they didn’t create they would go crazy, or it’s their inner struggle or joy that drives them to create. Do you have an inner striving that pushes you?
Michael: For me art is the ultimate escape. At the end of a crappy day of, oh let’s say for example, WORK I can lose myself in creating a drawing. In conversation I am totally inept so I feel that if I have something important to say I can best say it through my art. Hopefully, people will get the message.
David: I’d like to end with a light hearted question. What do you consider to be the greatest comic strip or cartoon?
Michael: Without a doubt, “Peanuts” by Charles Schultz. Other people claim to be Charlie Brown but they are just wannabes. I AM Charlie Brown! Growing up I was (and still am) a big fan of “Creepy” magazine. The art by such greats as Frank Frazetta and Al Williamson put it in a class by itself. Also, there’s this new Internet comic called “Don’t Pick the Flowers” which shows potential.
David: Oh thank you! That’s an honor! I am so thrilled to have you on the blog! You are an exceptional Artist and friend! Check out Michael Lee Summers website and his Facebook page!