Mike Berry

Mike Berry

About the Artist

Mike C. Berry is a versatile painter who works in pastels, oils and acrylics. His colorful and vibrant compositions often bending and twisting the cityscape have become his easily identifiable style. With his use of pure color and gestural brushstrokes, he notes Wolf Kahn, Edward Hopper, Joseph Delaney and Chaim Soutine as influences.

Mike is originally from the Midwest and studied illustration at the Savannah College of Art & Design, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Fine Art. He has lived in Knoxville since 1999. He has exhibited regionally over the past decade and is currently represented by The District Gallery in Knoxville and the River Gallery in Chattanooga, TN. Mike maintains a downtown studio, which has led him to explore the restlessness of city life and has developed his signature artistic theme: movement of the cityscape.

As Mike discovered, pastel lends itself to being an excellent medium for quickly expressing layers of different colors and laying down a rough composition. These smaller works are often used as studies for larger works, which are further developments of his theme of movement through the landscape. Application of the pastel is done on a sanded archival paper that’s mounted to rigid panel. The larger works, with the compositions already achieved in the studies, are translated into oils or acrylics that have been applied to a medium toned canvas very rapidly, usually completing the work “alla prima,” or in one setting.

“My works are personal views of modern day experiences, combined with my fascination of curving perspectives and dramatic lighting which lends itself, stylistically to the use of vivid color and bold bravado brushwork. My goal is to present fresh perspectives with the use of gestural and expressive brushwork to capture the essence of place or activity through vibrant color application.”