“I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
~ Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Johnmichael T. Lahtinen
With little formal training Johnmichael entered the artist community driven by exploration. Starting at a young age he began his adventures in art through the Saturday Academy of Portland Oregon.
Taking weekend classes he was able to dive deep into sculpting, wire art and even film making amongst many other creative arts. Upon reaching middle school the use of elective credits enabled Johnmichael to begin with the basics of sketching, shading and pigmentation. This formal training continued through his grade school days so as to encompass many mediums and give a basic grounding of art history.
In 2013 after obtaining his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon Johnmichael began to miss his true passion of the arts and returned to painting. That summer he put his first piece on display, entering the water-color animal division in the Lane County Fair. The piece, Woodland Tit, was awarded the first place ribbon. This was immediate encouragement and push for Johnmichael to move forward with his passion.
Spending the next year practicing when ever able Johnmichael returned to the Lane County Fair the following year with several new piecing. Once again he received first place in the water-color animal division, this time with the piece entitled Evening Waxwing. Excitingly he also received second place for two more watercolor pieces that year.
In his time since then Johnmichael has focused his spare energies to bettering his art through practice. He has also stepped further into the local Eugene artist community through his acceptance as of March 2015 into the New Zone Gallery.
As an artist he is constantly looking to incorporate his loves into his painting. Coming from the environmental studies and always having a fascination for life this often leads Johnmichael's work to reflect the natural and animal world around us through the experience of color.