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"As a young boy I was a very keen stamp collector. Only later in life did I realise that I enjoyed stamp collecting because I was fascinated with all the wonderful colours and shades of the stamps as well as the paintings, which were always done in such fine detail. I loved looking at all the different animals, people or places that often made up a series but most of all I loved the different colours that were on each stamp.

I have been blessed with a keen and imaginative eye for taking photographs and love the feel of depth that the lens allows. I also enjoyed the feel of light fighting shadow, the sun striking on early morning mist, a drop of ice hanging precariously on a twig or a piece of wire, as the sun strikes it and shines through it; the drama of the setting sun dancing on the motion of the sea; the smile or mournful eyes of a person sitting on a bench, lost in their own world, but allowing me a window into their soul.

I began to take art seriously about five years ago when one of life's gates suddenly appeared in my path. Before then I had been painting under lights. Before very long I began to see the disastrous effects artificial light had on my work. The gate that I opened allowed me to paint in pure daylight, and it took a bit of time to get on first name terms with the new colours. But each painting became easier to create in terms of colour and I began to choose more intricate and challenging work.

I now enjoy a variety of subject material and love nothing better than to have three paintings going at the same time. I love to see the emergence of the scene, like the building of a jigsaw puzzle taking shape. I often find myself moving around the painting – some ground cover here, then a bit of a tree, some sky, a wall of a building and then go back to the ground cover.

I mostly use a multi-layering technique in order to bring out the depth of certain objects.

I paint with the idea in mind that the viewer is not looking at the painting but is actually in the painting. I try to work the light and shadow so that the person can feel the cool of the shadow of the tree, feel the pull of the wave as they move with the motion, smell the lioness and feel the pull of the sand and grass as an elephant’s foot hits the ground.

I want the person to actually smell the crisp autumn air in the vineyard as the sun hits the golden, red and green leaves that strike the eye. I want the viewer to be sitting alongside the person in the portrait and hear the voice and pick up the energy and motion from within and let those eyes tell a thousand tales." - Mike Forrester

Mike Forrester
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Title: Twelve Apostles from Lions Head
Size: 47 x 94 cm
Media: Oil
Price: R 8 000 Unframed
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