Exhibit: "Beyond Realism: The Art of Michael A. Bignell"

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 10:00am to Sunday, May 29, 2016 - 4:30pm

Exhibition will be held at the Visitor’s Center/Bank Building, Corner of 2nd and Main Streets, Odessa, Delaware.

Michael A. Bignell: Biography

Michael’s paintings are in both private and corporate collections in Europe, Canada and the United States. Born and raised in the rural South Coast of England, he has returned to painting after a successful career as an architect. Michael studied architecture at the University of Brighton and was later awarded a scholarship to Yale University where he obtained a Master’s Degree at the School of Architecture.

From an early age, he painted landscape scenes of his native rural South Coast environment. Early recognition occurred when he was awarded a travel scholarship to study and paint in Rome. Since his retirement from architecture, Michael has returned to painting. He is well known for his urban cityscapes of New York City, which let the viewer know that he is a stickler for correct perspective. 

His rural upbringing near the coast is reflected in his farm scenes and cows which are like dessert after finishing a portrait, or a complicated painting with taxis, buses and buildings with lots of reflections and signage. Michael is interested in painting a variety of subjects and his cows, horses and dogs are loved by everyone. Recently he started depicting automobiles, from the 1938 MGTA, to Porsches, Formula-One and NASCAR race cars.

Many of the farm buildings with their peeling paint and missing siding are like portraits of the fast changing, or disappearing, life in the country - as the old Harvester tractor stands abandoned; they may not be there in a few years.

The stimulus of Michael’s work is known as “BEYOND REALISM”. His paintings are based on real scenes or events. In order to depict the essence of the scene, however, Michael will use artistic manipulation to bring out the aspects that he feels are important. This may mean changing light values, color hues or manipulation of the image. Similar manipulations can be seen in two of the artists that have influenced his artistic development. For example, Andrew Wyeth changed details on the buildings he portrayed, and Richard Estes depicts spotlessly clean glass and surfaces in his urban streetscapes.

His work has received awards at:

  • Allied Artists of America, New York City
  • American Artists Professional League, New York City
  • Baltimore Watercolor Society
  • Cape Cod Art Association
  • Cooperstown Art Association
  • Pennsylvania Watercolor Society
  • Philadelphia Water Color Society
  • Salmagundi Club’s Juried Painting & Sculpture Exhibitions, NYC
  • Wyoming Valley Art League


  • Allied Artists of America, Elected Member
  • American Artists Professional League, Inc., Fellow Member
  • Baltimore Watercolor Society, Signature Member
  • National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylics
  • Philadelphia Water Color Society, Signature Member


Website: www.michaelbignell.com

Above: Odessa Experience, 2015, Acrylic Painting, Michael A. Bignell