'Spiritual journeys, infinite pathways, dreamscapes and quirky compositions'
During my days at art school, I recall being asked on several occasions if I was Italian, or if I'd changed my name to that of the great Renaissance painter Michelangelo! This of course made me laugh since the answer to both was 'no'. I was indeed born Michael Angelo LaValette to Scottish parents in the city of Glasgow. My paternal ancestors were in-fact French subjects who ventured overseas to India sometime in the late 1700's, eventually becoming British subjects. A century and a half later, during the 1930's, my great grandparents left India, choosing Scotland as their new home.
Having named me as such, it was a surprise to my parents when, from an early age, I showed promise as a budding artist! My earliest memory of this was at the age of 5 when my schoolteacher showed them a drawing I'd done of an umbrella. She was intrigued by the fact that I was the only pupil to have drawn an inside view, showing the spokes in great detail.
At such an early age I wasn't to realise that my emerging talent would eventually land me a place in the world renowned Glasgow School of Art. Instead of specialising in Fine Art however, I chose Jewellery and Silversmithing as my specialist subject, graduating with a BA(Hons) Degree in Design.
From a young age I was fascinated by illusion and magic which later drew me to the work of surrealist painters like Dali, Magritte, Delveaux, Chirico and Escher, all creators of illusionary, dreamlike, compositions. Imagery that lends itself well to my vivid imagination!
In my final year of art school, my work began to take the form of decorative objects rather than pieces of jewellery. Much of my inspiration was derived from architectural features from around the world as well as a combination of perspective, secrecy and surprise. The main body of work for my degree show was a series of miniature 3-dimensional landscape paintings, contained within protective, triptych style boxes, which could be opened and closed to reveal or conceal the secret within.
After graduating I was keen to do some travelling before finding work. However, I unexpectedly found both when I landed myself a summer contract as airline cabin crew. I was later offered a permanent position and so spent 16 fabulous years travelling the world. My airline career was hugely rewarding and much of what I've seen and experienced during my travels around the globe has greatly inspired me as an artist.
Focusing solely on painting now, I work primarily in oils. Dreamlike, spiritual, enigmatic and quirky are a few of the words I might use to describe my work! Over the years I've produced an eclectic mix of original and commissioned artwork, some of which can be viewed in my Gallery pages. To discuss any aspect of my work please feel free to contact me.