Michael Duane with his “Best of Show” piece from Symphony in the Flint Hills, 2019
Having been born in Kansas, I live and work in a state where the weather can change quickly from from sunshine and cool breezes to ominous black clouds and howling winds. It’s the perfect place for me because of my lifelong fascination with the forces of nature. This began when I witnessed a tornado at the age of seven. After years of creating art with different media painting different subject matter, I became enamored with the bold, pure colors of pastel and combined my fascination with weather with my love of art. In my art, I prefer to focus on the wonders of the skies while condensing and abstracting the landscape into a pleasing design while at the same time maintaining the identity and mood of a representational painting. I came to realize the Kansas version of the oceans and mountains are the building, towering storms over the beautiful, gently rolling Flint Hills. They can be beautiful, nurturing and awe inspiring and at the same time showing the awesome power of Mother nature of which man can only realize the fragility of our existence on this earth.