Michael Shapcott, is a Connecticut based painter renowned for his vibrant color palette and emotionally evocative portraits. His artistic process involves intricate graphite underdrawings, which serve as the foundation for his expressive application of oil and acrylic paints. Beyond traditional painting, Shapcott produces art videos that offer insight into his distinctive creative methods.
Having initially pursued illustration, Shapcott transitioned to the study of fine arts at Paier College of Art in Hamden, Connecticut, where he graduated in 2007 with a diploma in Fine Arts. While acknowledging the valuable technical skills gained through formal education, Shapcott attributes his artistic evolution to the deliberate departure from traditional methods and the freedom to experiment independently. It is through this exploration that he has cultivated the confidence, distinctive voice, and evolving style evident in his current body of work.
Michael Shapcott– Artist Statement
Art for me is very much a tool for self-exploration. In a way, I use my art as a personal journal of emotion that changes and evolves with me through various states of mind. I feel that we all can relate to the ups and downs we face individually and collectively as human beings. In trying to touch the deep and ever-changing truth of my own life, I hope to express a familiar and relatable emotion in those who come into contact with my work.
My feelings about myself, experiences and people from my life are the inspiration for my work, and are most often tainted with a mixture of memory, perception and imagination. Therefore, in capturing those elements in my work, I choose to mix realism with illustration.
I use symbolism to express an inner state; using water to represent a feeling of fluidity, a heron to represent self-reliance, horns to represent an instinctual type of strength. The combination of symbols in a painting usually contribute to an overall theme of the piece, such as, finding the strength to enter a new phase in my life or expressing the dynamic between two different parts of myself.
I also make it a point to leave an unfinished quality to my paintings. As a child, I admired the unfinished works of great artists like Leonardo DaVinci. I am still absolutely infatuated with DaVinci’s works in progress. I feel the technique allows the viewer to trace some of the steps the artist took in a paintings creation. There is a deeper humanity, an intelligence, to an unfinished painting that feels complete.
Like each moment in life leads into the next moment, each painting I create leads into the next painting. I honor each completed painting for the experience it attempted to capture in addition to recognizing it as a stepping stone for my future creations.