Born in 1969, Michael John Ashcroft grew up in a small village called Croston in the heart of Lancashire. From an early age, he had a keen interest in all things 'arty'. After leaving school in 1985 with top grades in art, he began his career as an engineer, painting and sketching only in his spare time. However, in 1998 he had a major operation to remove a brain tumour and decided to paint more seriously. He returned to college and completed numerous classes in art including A- level fine art, OCA in portraiture and life drawing classes which he continues to do on a weekly basis.
Michael's style is contemporary, but grounded in his application of traditional methods. His paintings have evolved over the years from early abstract acrylics to using oils and more representational works. Despite his artistic development, the foundations that underpin his paintings have not changed. His fascination with light and dark and his love for the city and the landscape are spectacularly translated in his work.
Art critic David Lee notes: "There are no secrets in what he does. Being open and honest he tells you directly through his pictures where his interests lie. We don’t have to be told by experts the meaning of his work because they are self-evident – we can see them for ourselves. In his landscapes as well as his views of the city, he willingly lays bare his pleasures and beliefs. You can’t ask more of any artist than this."
Michael has gained great success over the years. In 2011 he gained acceptance into the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts and throughout his career he has exhibited with the Royal Society of British Artists, New English Art Club, the Howard De Walden Exhibition and the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition. In 2012, he competed in the BBC 2 Art program ‘Show Me The Monet’, beating over 3,000 artists to become 1 of 30 to show their work at the Mall Galleries. His work was also recently selected for both the 2015 and 2017 New Light Prize Exhibition. In 2020 Michael achieved a life’s goal of being elected a member of the prestigious Royal Institute of Oil Painters. With such impressive acclaim and recognition, Michael's work has become highly sought after, making them precious acquisitions for collectors.
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