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When Michael Keane was four years old, the first picture that he drew was of a boat. Since he can remember, he has had a specific affinity for the sea; for the look, for the feel, for the sound of it. While growing up, he filled his grandmother’s house with the ship models that he was constantly building.
A lifelong artist, Keane started painting while still a child. He was given extensive instruction in oil painting and pastels. Soon, he was generating images of the sea and it’s ships.
After eight years of study with his first painting instructor, he subsequently came under the tutelage of Marshall W. Joyce, a marine artist of some renown. During his years of study with Joyce, Keane was taught many things about the depiction of ships and sea that remain a valuable lesson to this day.
While studying with Mr. Joyce, Keane was concurrently studying portrait and figure painting with a well-known New York portrait artist. This artist was well grounded in classical oil painting and his influence on Michael opened up whole new dimensions in Keane’s marine painting. His work became more and more filled with luminosity and mood. His work grew so much, that his teacher asked him to become a partner and share studio space in a waterfront loft. Also, during this time period, Keane enrolled in a university and majored in visual design.
To support himself during his many years of training, he worked at different occupations. First he became a boat builder at Boston Whaler. Later, he became interested in cars and became an expert mechanic. He built blueprinted racing engines and racing cars for himself and many others.
After his protracted sojourn into the world of racing cars, he turned his attention again to shipbuilding. He spent almost seven years as a Marine Quality Assurance Inspector for General Dynamics. Keane used the income and knowledge garnered from the job to further his training in art and to design and build his own home. After General Dynamics learned of his extraordinary art training, part of Keane’s employ was spent as a Technical Illustrator for that firm. During his employ there, he also became quite proficient at reading and lofting ship’s plans. He now uses his skills to construct ship models from scratch, and the technical skills garnered add great authority to his work.
All the while that Michael worked, he also painted. He was asked to become an instructor of painting for the Copley Society of Boston, and also taught fine arts painting for over fifteen years for many different organizations.
For the last decade, Michael Keane has dedicated himself solely to painting and has perfected a synthesis of all his incredible facets of learning and experience. He approaches his art on one level in a workmanlike manner, and on another level with the highest artistic ideals in mind. His technical and engineering skills, coupled with his extensive fine arts background, make him uniquely qualified as a fine marine artist in the American tradition.
Keane has won numerous awards and honors for his paintings, including the R.J. Schaefer Award of excellence at the Mystic Seaport International Juried Show. His original works and limited edition prints are proudly displayed in private collections, corporate collections, and galleries globally. He and his work have been featured in Yachting, Motorboating & Sailing, U.S. Art. Sea Classics. Cape Cod Life and various other publications.
To Michael Keane, a painting should be special and elegant. ìEach painting you do, should reflect the best that you can do. Art should elevate life, should lift it, and let you see it in a special way that you’ve never seen before.