On view July 14 – July 19, 2014
EBK Gallery [small works].
218 Pearl St.
“I often paint Charles Island. It’s a small uninhabited island off the coast of Milford, accessible by a sandbar at low tide. It has a fascinating history. As a boy it was the backdrop of my summers … for me it measures time past and present. Islands invoke many things. They are unique and solitary, austere and handsome, they exist independent from the rest of the world. Hopefully Charles Island will remain this way.”
The summer before he went to college Mike Ulrich took a job as a bill board painter and did so for the next thirty years between New York City and Boston until billboard painters were replaced by large format printers. He always kept painting though. He would modestly tell you that he used to be a “Sunday” painter and “…recently as the business took a new direction I’ve been painting again and I love it. Whether I’m taking a walk or driving my truck I’m constantly seeing the world in terms of paintings. I wish I felt this way 20 years ago but this is the way it worked for me.” The last few years have been a watershed for him in that the works he has been creating are and continue to be stunningly beautiful.
A profound influence for Ulrich is the 19th century painter Issac Levitan who he says “was completely at one with his craft and his environment as he created powerful works from what would be, the mundane, to an un-attentive eye.” He has inherited the gift of the Hudson River painters for perceiving how light works both technically and poetically. One needs no information to view his paintings. The landscape is known to all.
The artist lives and works in the Milford area of shoreline Connecticut. -E.B.K.
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