About The Artist

Mike pic in gallery CU

Inspired by a richly creative childhood and a fertile imagination well steeped in fantasy and science fiction, much of my artwork features fantastic characters and magical creatures. They appear all at once to be both otherworldly yet strangely familiar; some scary, some simpatico, some somber, some salacious, all of them sublime.

Although I work with a variety of artistic materials, my two primary mediums are pastel painting and sculpture. Sometimes referred to as artists’ chalk, painterly mavens have been using pastels for centuries as both a preliminary sketching tool and as a final painting medium. Pastels are known for their lush colors, infinite laying capabilities as well as their ability to impart stunning textural effects.

The vast majority of my pastel paintings are first explored as pen and ink drawings. Within the pages of my sketch books, black and white doodles often run riot, emerging from mere scribblings into detailed, cross-hatched, finished drawings, all in an effort to explore a shape or concept either real or imagined. After deciding upon a drawing for my sketchbook, the selected image serves as a loose blueprint of sorts for a final pastel painting. Take a look at some of my sketches (along with the resultant, finished pastel art) here, on my SKETCH BOOK ART page.

Although my pastel work resonates with a contemporary vibe, the development of my visual style owes a great deal to the study of works from the past, mainly the art of the impressionist and post-impressionist masters. Artists such as Monet, Dégas, Toulouse-Lautrec, and van Gogh frequently blended colors not by physically mixing one color with another but rather by visually blending, layering one color over another. Often, using brighter color palettes and sharp, outlined edges and line work, these artists created an entirely new visual style. Standing further back from my work, the myriad webs of crosshatched lines and blocked-in passages of shimmering, “scumbled” color combine to create a unique, cohesive, vibrant work of art. I use the black of the chalkboard to serve as the darkest shadow areas in my chalk art. By working in this fashion, I am able to create some amazingly three dimensional visual effects. See below how I create my pastel art in this video filmed at The Wine Thief in front of a tour group during New Haven, Connecticut’s 2014 Arts and Ideas festival.



If you have ever visited BAR or The Wine Thief, both on Crown Street in downtown New Haven, you have probably seen my art work. I create new pastel art on four large, permanently mounted chalk slates at the beginning of every month at BAR. My chalk art for The Wine Thief appears four times a year, on the change of seasons, on a large 4’ x 5’ permanently mounted chalk panel in between the wine racks. I also create a mural sized, 4 x 8’ chalk art piece on a panel which is mounted directly behind the register. Browse some of my recent pastel art here, on my BAR CHALK ART and THE WINE THIEF CHALK ART pages.

The special nature of the chalk art created for my commercial clients is further enhanced by the fact that it has a lifespan. Whether it’s up for one month, three months or a year, it will eventually be erased. While most artist’s and patrons would be appalled to see their artwork wiped away, I welcome the process – making way for something new, fresh and vibrant. The “fleeting” nature of my chalk art adds to its appeal; people are curious to see what’s coming next.

In addition to the “temporary” pastel art I create for commercial clients, I also do commissioned art for private patrons. Touch base with me if you would like to have my original artwork in your home or business. Set the magic in motion by sending me an email here, on my CONTACT page. Or, “Friend” me on Facebook. Click here to connect to my Facebook page. Thank you for visiting!


Michael Micinilio