Michael Woods was born in Los Angeles. While studying painting and drawing at Humboldt State University he met local painter Michael Hayes, who taught him by studying the Old Masters. He then went on the National Student Exchange program to Hunter College, where he spent a substantial amount of time in the New York City art museums. He earned his BA in studio art from HSU in 1996. In 1999 he obtained a studio in the distinguished C Street Studios of Old Town Eureka, CA. After years of painting in the representational style, in 2007 he branched out by creating his first geometrical paintings in oil. He’s currently on the path to becoming a high school art teacher, with the goal of sharing his love of art with young people.
I use a technique I call geometrical painting, in which the viewer sees my oil paintings and watercolors through a lens of random rectangles or a square grid. This stylistic approach is inspired by mosaics and stained glass windows. This is a mode I arrived at simply because I love this way of portraying subjects. Other influences include the rectilinear abstraction of Piet Mondrian, the repeated images of Andy Warhol, and the hard-edge paintings of people like Josef Albers, Ellsworth Kelly, and Frank Stella. Painting in this orderly fashion is a natural extension of my systematic, methodical personality.
I portray subject matter that I am passionate about, which is also subject matter that isn’t played out. I love musical instruments, maps of certain places, and historical figures. My art practice is driven by my curiosity about all the humanities. Most recently I’ve been combining imagery of poets such as Langston Hughes and Emily Dickinson with maps of relevant places for these figures. Another project combines the form of my flute with maps of impoverished countries that have active orchestras despite economic hardships. I have fun with color relationships by creating a nuanced pallet using variations on the standard sets of color. I want my finished paintings to feel like the result of an adventure.