Michael’s work varies in subject matter but focuses mostly on the same premise, the love, appreciation, and celebration of life through worn and experienced elements. This can be seen in shoes and boots that exhibit life and experience through their wear. It can be seen in carnivals and fairs for their bright colors, their amazing variety of personalities, and their historical celebration of local resources. It can be seen in portraits and figures exhibiting great experience and stories through their form and features.
Michael Terstriep tries to portray a story in his paintings, more than just an attractive image. Michael says, “I believe the human experience is what should be celebrated by us all on a daily basis. The connection between people, between people and their belongings, and the shared experience, sentiment and emotion is what gives us meaning. I love the old, worn, and found items in our lives that have a real story to be told, and I enjoy trying to illustrate the story in my paintings.”
Michael works primarily with oils on canvas or linen and his natural style is very realistic. He has great appreciation for the level of detail and care required to make a painting look exactly as it does in photo or in real life. Michael recognizes that there is a wonderful balance between realism and abstraction that allows a painting to remain a painting, with its strong brush strokes and heavy globs of paint when viewed from a close perspective, but from 15 feet away appearing to be a photo. Great skill in this balance has been achieved by amazing artists such as Chuck Close and Alyssa Monks. Michael strives to find this balance in his work as well. “I want my works to be striking in detail and to grab you upon initial sight, but also to inspire wonder and interest in the story and emotions being portrayed.”View Michael Terstreip’s Art