Michael was born in Southend, Essex in 1976, the second son of British Landscape artist David Smith. He was brought up in South Benfleet until the age of six when his family moved into Cold Norton. His family still live in this small Essex village and he works from a studio in his family home.
After gaining nine GCSE’s at St. Peter’s High School, Burnham-on-Crouch, he went on to study fine art at Southend College. During this period Michael continued to practise his painting skills in his spare time. In the summer of 1994 he decided he was ready to take up painting full time. This decision was proven well founded when two weeks later he left his first picture in an art gallery in Woodford, London. By the time he’d arrived home it had sold!
Michael draws his inspiration from the British countryside and frequently takes trips to Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Scotland and Wales. He never fails to be captivated by the beauty of the diverse landscapes and it is this he portrays using the oil on canvas medium.
The countryside more local to Michael’s home has also been a great source of stimulation for his talent. The River Chelmer in Essex has been one of his favourite subjects, as have other rivers in the south east, including the Kennet, Stort and Stour.
Rivers are well represented throughout Michael’s repertoire. This is partly because it reminds him of the countless afternoons spent fishing in his childhood with his brother and father. And there is nowhere more stunning and peaceful on a summer’s evening than sitting on a tranquil riverbank admiring the view.
Michael’s work also includes scenes captured whilst walking and driving through the countryside during each of the four seasons. Whether it is a quiet country lane, a flock of sheep on a grassy hillside or an autumnal sunset, Michael’s work will capture the moment in his own unique way.