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Michael Godfrey

Photo of Michael GodfreyMichael Godfrey is a representational landscape artist whose work hangs in many private and corporate collections. Born in Germany in l958 and raised in North Carolina, he earned a BA in Fine Arts and began his painting career in oils and watercolors. He spends hours field sketching and photographing, preparing for a well thought out painting.

Typically, Michael starts a major work using small oil studies done on location. These field studies provide color accuracy and photographs provide special details. Godfrey composes his paintings from on-site sketches in the field and photography references. In-studio, work progresses in successive layers of paint and light is orchestrated to create a painting that appeals to his internal sense of order.

"A landscape artist has to have some knowledge of many disciplines (geology, chemistry, physics, architecture), to understand the world in which they are trying to create. An artist must observe with the idea that what is observed must be interpreted and distilled. For a landscape artist, it is just as important what you do not include in a work as what is eventually laid down. I ask myself, what is the dominant truth - is it color, shape of landforms, or time of day? I try to get an understanding of what I am seeing so that the final work will capture the visual emotion."


  • 2011 People's Choice Award Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters National Exhibit
  • 2011 Southwest Art Magazine Award of Excellence Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters National Exhibit
  • 2010 Best in Show, American Art Invitational Exhibit
  • 2010 Best in Show at the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters National Exhibit
  • 2007 Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art Quest for the West Palette Award
  • 1998 Bronze Medal - Yellowstone National Park Purchase Award
  • 1996 Landscape Award - Arts for the Parks

Select Shows

  • Booth Museum of Western Art 2008
  • Qwest for the West Invitational 2007
  • Jackson Hole Art Auction 2007
  • Altermann Art Auction 2006
  • Sea to Shining Sea Invitational 2004
  • Peppertree Invitational 1995-2008
  • Arts for the Parks Top 100 - 90, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96
  • Gene Autry Museum - Annual Classic American Western Art Show 1995
  • CM Russell Auction 2005-2009
  • National Wildlife Museum Miniatures Show 1998-2008

Select Publications

Books: Art from the Parks - Rachel Rubin Wolf; From Sea to Shining Sea


  • Southwest Art Magazine Cover and feature article - December 2010
  • Art of the West, feature article May/June, 2010
  • Western Art Collector - February 2008, pgs 159,160,164, and 165
  • Western Art Collector - November 2007, pgs 170, 174
  • American Art Collector - April 2006, pgs 214, 215
  • American Artist - September 1998, Cover story


Please Note: All painting images on this website are copyrighted. Any reproduction is prohibited without the express permission of the artist.

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