“My art truly is 2,200 miles in the making. When I took that first step on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia on my way to Maine, I was searching for positive self-assurance in myself and my abilities. Along the way, I discovered more about myself and the world around me than I ever anticipated. The most significant discovery, something I always felt I lacked as an artist, was passion. Once I found that, everything seemed to fall into place. With every new piece I complete, my ultimate goal is for the viewer to experience emotions as if they were on their own self-fulfilling journey.”
Soon after moving to Asheville, NC, to pursue a career as a pencil artist, Mike developed an overwhelming uncertainty in his abilities as an artist, and as an individual. His passion to create had vanished, so he packed up his pencils and resigned from drawing.
In 2014, a hike across the summit of a bald mountain called Max Patch, reignited the flame to create as he came upon the iconic Appalachian Trial. Immediately he was overcome with desire to draw once again. However, it wasn’t going to be as easy as picking up a pencil. He was also being called by the trail itself to make the 2,200-mile pilgrimage from Georgia to Maine. Two months later, with no backpacking experience, carrying two sketchbooks and an assortment of pencils, he left from Springer Mountain, Georgia and headed north.
His journey on the trail not only strengthened his belief in himself, but it also gifted him with an undying love for nature that he’s eager to share with others. Mike continues to work in pencil, but he quickly learned it was time to branch out of the black and white world of graphite and truly convey the vivid imagery he experienced on the trail each day, so he taught himself a colorful new medium, pastel.