Mike Smalley’s confident, nuanced paintings are gradually developed through an often months long process. Employing the mediums of oil paint and graphite on stretched linen or canvas his works can be seen as painterly studies of pure expression through abstraction. Meticulously rendered, his paintings carefully balance layers of colour, texture and line, along with contrasts of translucency versus opaqueness, to create works rich with visual interest and palpable emotion.
Abstract artist Mike Smalley is best known for his complex, luminous paintings in oil and graphite. Born in England in 1945, he enjoyed a successful career in art direction and advertising that spanned two continents and 40 years. Having settled in Toronto in 1975, he eventually enrolled in the fine arts program at York University in 2003. There he employed the rigorous disciplines learned in the communications industry to help him focus on developing a new visual vocabulary with which he wished to look past the representational to a world of pure expression. By combining his roots in the graphic arts with the freedom of abstraction Smalley has built an established artistic career that encompasses his signature large scale oil paintings along with works in pastel, collage and mixed media. His works are included in private and corporate collections throughout North America, the UK and China, including large format commissions in Los Angeles and Toronto.
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