I am in the midst of a love affair.
Not with a person but with a place.
I am in love with South Carolina.
As a native to the Palmetto State, I have enjoyed all that her natural beauty has to offer.
From a childhood of hunting, fishing, hiking and boating to an adulthood of capturing her essence in paint, I have been in love.
My mother taught me the South Carolina of history, of books and maps, of legend, of its place, not only in America, but in the world. She instilled in me a sense of pride and responsibility as a South Carolinian and of my state. My father taught me the story of the physical state. The power of cat fishing on the muddy Pee Dee to the unique salty spray of flounder gigging off Pawley's Island to camping near White Water Falls.
Since childhood, I wanted to paint my environment, my world, my South Carolina. I have now done that for 43 years and still have so much work to do.
I am a blessed man. To live a life that tells of the beauty of my South Carolina through paintings is the best way I know to tell the world that my state really does say "welcome.” With every oak, every palmetto, every rock and every river, WELCOME!
The thought that I can be a part of thanking people for investing in our future and well-being is humbling beyond words.
Michael Gray’s paintings are a direct reflection of his love for the natural venues that inspire his art. Gray paints extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe, but is most renowned as a master of the Low Country landscape. His perspectives represent very personal and private views and corners that evoke an intimate feeling of place.
His use of light, color and brush stroke have come to be compared to turn of the century Impressionist Masters such as Daniel Garber, Granville Redmond and Camille Pissarro. In a recent article, Gray was called “...a romantic Impressionist with great collectability...” a mantle that he proudly wears.
Beyond the studio, the artist is a highly sought lecturer and clinician of fine oil painting and art history. His painting seminars are sought after by artists and weekend painters everywhere from Shanghai, Amsterdam, Tokyo, London, Milan, Hong Kong, Florence, and universities and arts leagues throughout the country.
In addition to the 27+ year residency in the I. Pinckney Simons Gallery, the artist’s works can be found in the corporate, private and public collections throughout the country and is widely acclaimed for his dedication and mastery of traditional Impressionists technique. A Partial list includes Axis Worldwide Financial, The Orvis Corporation, General Electric, Arista Records, The Sisters of Mercy Hospitals, Winter Guard International, Delta Airlines, The California Water Conservancy and Liberty Mutual Insurance.
In recent years, Gray has extended his art career as a designer for the Demoulin Bros. Corporation, where he has designed everything from work shirts for BMW to the new band uniforms at Clemson University...all connecting him back to home.