Michael Tienhaara

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 Biography of impressionist artist Michael Tienhaara

Originally from Portland, Oregon and a graduate of Portland State University, Michael currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although primarily a self-taught artist, during the last few years Michael has completed workshops and private study with such internationally known artists such as Ken Auster, Michael Hallinan, Jeff Horn, Mark Kerckhoff, and Michael Schofield.

Michael attributes much of his education in painting to his extensive career in printmaking. During the mid 1980's he won a first place and second place award for screen printing excellence in an international competition. As technology changed Michael moved from screen printing to giclee production on large format digital presses. He has created giclees for many internationally renowned artists.

His affiliation with the printing industry allowed Michael to form close relationships with many artists. Always the student, Michael constantly questioned his artist friends about all facets of painting. He subscribes to the theory that an artist can learn more in a short period of time if the artist learns practical painting techniques from successful working artists rather than from a more structured, theoretical university setting.

Michael’s style transcends traditional impressionism. His works have a haunting quality of ethereal stillness that transports the viewer to a different dimension. Michael often states that impressionist landscape painters fall into one of two categories: experiential or fantasy. Experiential painters are "gatherers." The source of their inspiration is the culmination of their visual experiences. Fantasy painters, however, create imagery from their mind....their imagination.....embellishing the imagery for affect and emotional impact. Michael uses a blend of each with a greater emphasis on the fantasy component. The execution of his paintings comes from the mind in what Michael often refers to as "planned expressionistic accidents" from stored images of scenes he has observed in nature and embellished by his own imagination.

Michael began concentrating on this art in the late 1980's. His work has sold nationally and internationally to galleries, dealers, art auctioneers, private, corporate collectors,  and on national television. Always the experimenter and innovator, Michael has worked in a variety of styles ranging from highly abstract expressionism to " loose impressionism." "My style is a moving target. I paint what I feel- allowing the paint to flow, rather than working in a particular structured style."

In 2008 sales of originals paintings exceeded 750 worldwide.

Michael signs his small works with his initials "MJT" and his larger works as "Tienhaara."

What others say...

"This is lovely. The colors are gorgeous. I am amazed at the detail, especially for the small size."….Sandy

"…...masterful the way you have placed your strokes."…..Cathleen

"A classic example of assymetrical ordering. One mechanism well demonstrated here is to suggest an ordered chaos that characterizes trees, yet held together by this "pulse" which translates to our familiar eyes as the stuff of life "felt" outdoors is inserting rhythm"……Larry

"you get so very much in such a small size"… Sandy

"All I can do is keep cheering!… your portraits of California continue to bring it home."….Helen

"…the contrasts, placements and sense of nature is pervasive beautiful and exciting." Jerry

"your placement of color.....genius."……..Richard

..."wonderful impressionist works, monumental in scope, remind me of the turn of the century California Plein Aire painters" .....CL

"....you are heir apparent to the early California impressionists."........Judy

"Gorgeous paintings, wonderful compositions.......... breathtaking color combinations that all artists aspire to but few achieve. Most artists can only wish and dream that they could be this good."

"your paintings transport me to places that exist only in my mind and can only hope to one day visit.".....Cathy

"...your paintings of impressionist landscapes have few equals at ANY price."....Laguna Beach gallery owner

"....the contrasts, placements and sense of nature is pervasive beautiful and exciting"......Jerry

"I love them. Your work is so..............Turnerish! You give it so much light and depth.".....Angi

"these two samples of your work are very exciting! The immediacy and life in them are wonderful...." Peggy


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