Name: Aaron Michels
Current hometown: Des Lacs
Where can we see your work?
You can see my work at Suite 1 Gallery, art shows around the state, and my website: https://www.aaronmichelsphotography.com/.
Do you have work for sale?
I have work for sale. While most of what I have is set in size by myself, I will take commissioned sizes and media for my prints. I can paint a watercolor image on commission as well.
How would you describe your style?
Landscape photographs, especially those taken in National Parks are my inspiration. I use my landscape photographs as motivation for a more realistic representational watercolor painting and abstract watercolors. My abstracts break an image down into basic shapes and colors present in a photograph. I’ve been working on sets framed together of all three. Kind of a deconstruction of a photograph.
Who would you say have been influences on your work?
Ansel Adams, for sure, was a great influence. The complete tonal range of his photographs are a wonder to view. He photographed so many National Parks before they were popular attractions. His photographs showed the rest of the world the beauty of this country’s natural wonders. I’d like to think I can do my own part to show those wonders in my own style to accomplish a similar feeling of awe in viewers.
Are there particular themes you like to explore in your work?
Large vistas and macro-photographs; the massive and the minuscule, often in the same locations inspire me. My family camped a lot when I was young. That is where I developed a love for the natural world. National Parks and other natural wonders are threatened in many places, and people need to be reminded of why they were protected in the first place. People don’t always see a National Park as anything more than a famous attraction. I want to understand why these places are important through my artworks.
What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
I most enjoy taking the feelings I had while making the image and successfully transferring that feeling to the viewer. I really love the entire process from visiting the place where the images are taken through the digital darkroom and finally printed. I’m not thrilled about the matting and framing process, though!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Mohall, but I have lived all over the U.S. from Maine to Oregon. I graduated from Minot State with a photography degree and an art education degree. I teach art at Des Lacs Burlington High School. I am married to Crystal (an English teacher and writer), and I have two daughters Tana and Xylia. We all love travel and camping.