For Michael Van Zeyl, portraiture is much more than a one-sided translation of the artist’s point of view taking form in a subject. It’s an engaging visual dialogue that renders a soul in light, shadow and pigment, continuing the conversation for future generations to appreciate.
While technical skill and accurate rendering are only part of Michael’s gift, his experience has honed his craft to the highest standard. His talents were apparent by age seven and he spent subsequent decades mastering a wide range of painting techniques. In particular, 17th century Dutch and 19th century impressionist styles have resonated with him and surfaced in his own works.
His formal training began at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, continuing on at Chicago’s Historic Palette & Chisel Academy and the Art Students League in New York, where he studied with the most accomplished artists who also paint directly from life under natural light. Michael is currently a faculty member at the Palette & Chisel and has been the club’s most popular instructor for several years.
Michael’s work is already appreciated in many public and private collections, such as the United States District Court, University of Chicago, DePaul University School of Law, Chicago Theological Seminary and American Hotel Register. He has received awards from the Portrait Society of America, The Artists Guild and the Portrait Society of Atlanta, and has been a three-time Gold Medal winner at the Palette & Chisel.
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