A native of Detroit, Ewing has lived and traveled extensively in the southwest for many years, and it is a westerner’s perception that gives the works their personality. Much of Ewing’s effort attends to architectural detail, setting up the relationship between bright sunlight saturating the scene, the shadows produced, and the curves and lines of the building or wall, often adobe upon which they play. He comes by his affection for architecture naturally. Originally a student of that discipline at the Lawrence Institute of Technology in Michigan, Ewing was redirected toward fine art when a professor looked at his renderings, which had a distinctly watercolor air, and commented, “Why aren’t you studying fine art?”
Ewing graduated from Detroit’s Mercy College in 1974 with a degree in fine art/painting, a minor in math and a teaching credential. He moved west with his family in 1979 and began working with an engineering firm doing building surveys on Indian reservations. From this experience, Michael’s artistic insight into the southwest grew quickly. Michael taught art for many years and worked on his art as time provided. Teaching became a smaller and smaller part of his life as his successes in art became increasingly frequent and challenging. Now his palette is based upon the light, color, and architecture of New Mexico, Arizona, and California almost exclusively.
Articles on Ewing’s work have appeared in Art of the West (March/April 1993); Southwest Art (December 1989); and Focus/Santa Fe (October-December 1996). Ewing’s subject matter often provides a new look at the old west. Combining the impressionist Love of light-drenched images with echoes of the Taos school’s brush technique, he also demonstrates a thoroughly modern color sensibility and feels for composition.