Originally from Wynne, Arkansas, Michael Monroe Ethridge was born with creative genetics, as his mother was an avid artist. From a young age, Michael’s mother mentored him in oil-based painting, helping to develop his artistic ability. His mother also instilled a love in Michael for music and dance and contributed to his “Hollywood” personality.
During his younger years in the 70’s (the “Sex, Drugs, & Rock ‘n’ Roll era), psychedelic influences of culture were in full swing. At this time, although his initial training was in realism, Michael gravitated towards the free-spirited style of abstract art, using water-based acrylic paints. This style made Michael feel unrestricted to embrace his bold use of color.
Around 2006, Michael fully welcomed representational painting with a focus on pure abstract and abstract landscapes. This style launched Michael’s career across the United States. At that time, Michael’s art was represented with high distinction in galleries in cities such as Aspen, Boston, Houston, and Santa Fe.
In 2009, Michael’s art was commissioned by the well-known Baldwin Piano Corporation to hand-paint a series of grand pianos, known as Baldwin’s high-end and luxurious “Artist Series”. As an accomplished piano player himself, these painted pianos not only bring art to the ears but also to the eyes in an exquisite artistic fusion of music and paint.
Shortly thereafter, Michael received a call from a gallery owner, wanting to showcase his work in a Naples gallery. Having never been to Italy, Michael accepted the offer with excitement. Michael’s Italian travels would be delayed, as the gallery owner was speaking of Naples, Florida. However, he would not be disappointed with his travels to Florida, as he and his wife Lisa fell in love with Naples when they visited to see his artwork shown on 5th Avenue.
After relocating to Naples, Michael purchased a building, renovated it, and launched his own gallery. While his gallery was very successful, the retail business of owning a gallery restricted Michael’s time in front of the easel. Supported by Lisa, Michael sold the gallery. With more time, Michael’s creativity began to flow again. With this, he expanded his artwork beyond acrylic canvas paintings to hand-painted tabletops. More recently, Michael has launched “Acrylyte”, which places his art on clear Lucite acrylic that can be backlit to illuminate his artwork. Acrylyte is most popular in its use in home design. From shower doors to tile floors, you can find Michael’s work in upscale homes across Florida.
Today, Michael resides in Naples, FL with Lisa. He remains active in painting across all mediums, saying, “With its bright sunshine and beautiful skies, Florida offers me the inspiration and positive muse to embrace my ever-evolving creativity.”