Michael Griffin

Michael Griffin, artist

I have a passion for traditional materials and classical techniques. The dramatic influences of Caravaggio and the romance of the Pre-Raphaelites appear in my paintings and drawings, as well as the fascination with the human face figure as mastered by John Singer Sargent. Like these master painters, I often use portraiture to evoke larger themes and narratives. My goal is to tell new stories using the beautiful language of the past.

My artistic exploration first led me the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where I focused my studies on Figure Drawing and Anatomy, as well as apprenticing as a sculptor. My post-graduate studies have included classes at the Elizabet Ney museum in Austin, TX and drawing classes with a figure drawing society at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, where I set up a painting studio. My wide ranging artistic interests have led me from portrait painting and sculpture, to mural work and trompe l’oeil.

Concurrent to my artistic career, a strong desire to serve others led me to spend time in the Arm reserves training as a medic, and finally to become a career firefighter. These experiences working for the safety and well-being of others have given me a new perspective on the world and continue to provide constant inspiration for my work. Through art, I often discuss subjects relating to mental health and issues faced not only by first responders but by many others as well. With my work I also often explore the human condition its self – the duality of lightness and darkness, personal conviction and the strength to overcome adversity.