Michael F. Combs

Michael F. Combs

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I never imagined I would be an artist, an author, a music composer, or six-time world record holder in aviation for that matter. I also never imagined I would survive death, twice – literally dying, seeing the other side -- and being given a second chance to live out my dreams.

However, it was facing death that what really taught me how to live.

It’s a crazy thing to die. In that moment, I was faced with my regrets in life, all the things I wish I would have done differently, which for me was flying and pursing my gift of music. You see, because of the oxygen loss when my heart stopped, I had severe memory loss. I didn’t remember the names of colors or the scent of flowers, or the feel of the sun on my skin, or even my family. Innocence was fully restored, and I was fully impressionable and vulnerable like a young child might be, but I knew I was a grown man.

Waking up those first 6 months after my heart gave out was like waking up in a dream – everything was new and foreign, yet eerily familiar.

The doctors said I would never recover but I knew I was sent back with a purpose – a mission. It took nearly two years to get back on my feet. Every day would focus on my blessings with gratitude and joy. To deal with the pain, I would imagine soaring in the sky, weaving in and out of clouds completely free. That’s where the dream to fly into all 50 states was born to encourage people to “Never, EVER give up on your dreams”, but that’s another story (check out The Flight for the Human Spirit.)

I wasn’t an artist until after I died and came back. One night, 40 weeks after I had flat-lined, I was instructed in my dreams how to paint. I was taught ...

I never imagined I would be an artist, an author, a music composer, or six-time world record holder in aviation for that matter. I also never imagined I would survive death, twice – literally dying, seeing the other side -- and being given a second chance to live out my dreams.

However, it was facing death that what really taught me how to live.

It’s a crazy thing to die. In that moment, I was faced with my regrets in life, all the things I wish I would have done differently, which for me was flying and pursing my gift of music. You see, because of the oxygen loss when my heart stopped, I had severe memory loss. I didn’t remember the names of colors or the scent of flowers, or the feel of the sun on my skin, or even my family. Innocence was fully restored, and I was fully impressionable and vulnerable like a young child might be, but I knew I was a grown man.

Waking up those first 6 months after my heart gave out was like waking up in a dream – everything was new and foreign, yet eerily familiar.

The doctors said I would never recover but I knew I was sent back with a purpose – a mission. It took nearly two years to get back on my feet. Every day would focus on my blessings with gratitude and joy. To deal with the pain, I would imagine soaring in the sky, weaving in and out of clouds completely free. That’s where the dream to fly into all 50 states was born to encourage people to “Never, EVER give up on your dreams”, but that’s another story (check out The Flight for the Human Spirit.)

I wasn’t an artist until after I died and came back. One night, 40 weeks after I had flat-lined, I was instructed in my dreams how to paint. I was taught how to hold the brush, the different pressures of the brush and the outcomes, different techniques and mediums. It was a rush of information. The next morning, I purchased paints and canvas and began my journey. As with anything, you can learn about something and know how it works, but it still takes the development of the motor skills to get good at it.

While the early paintings may not be considered masterpieces by others (yet), they are incredibly precious to me because they were created through the eyes of childlike innocence and wonderment. They were created by a man who was just discovering the incredible world around him. And, with each painting I got a little better, like burdens being lifted or my new world being painted before me.

Years later, I discovered that the paintings were of places and things I had never seen or had any knowledge of at the time, but were more like visions of things I would see one day. I have since seen many of these places in my travels or on TV or movies. It’s awfully convicting.

Today, I paint with great spiritual purpose. Each painting is infused with hidden meaning and purpose to evoke your emotions and help draw out the best in you.

All of my paintings are available in print, but I rarely sell originals. If interested in a piece that you do not see in my store, just ask.

Cruise Cats
Cruise Cats
  • 30 x 36 in
Two Choices
Two Choices
  • 36 x 30 in
There Were Two Giraffes
There Were Two Giraffes
  • 30 x 36 in
City Cats
City Cats
  • 36 x 30 in
The Calling
The Calling
  • 40 x 30 in
Battle Against Conformity
Battle Against Conformity
  • 30 x 40 in
Flutter
Flutter
  • 30 x 40 in
Shapes of Life
Shapes of Life
  • 30 x 40 in
Simple Joys
Simple Joys
  • 30 x 40 in
Valley of Defiance
Valley of Defiance
  • 40 x 30 in
Shine Through the Night
Shine Through the Night
  • 40 x 30 in
A Glimpse
A Glimpse
  • 40 x 30 in
Hope for the Human Spirit
Hope for the Human Spirit
  • 40 x 30 in
Mourning Light
Mourning Light
Sold
  • 30 x 40 x 0.75 in
Cien
Cien
  • 30 x 24 x 0.75 in
Radiate
Radiate
  • 36 x 24 x 0.5 in
Daydream
Daydream
  • 20 x 16 in
Heading Home
Heading Home
  • 24 x 24 in
Run to Your Goals
Run to Your Goals
Sold
  • 18 x 24 in
The Arrangement (Sold)
The Arrangement (Sold)
Sold
  • 24 x 18 in
Slippery when Wet
Slippery when Wet
  • 12 x 12 x 0.5 in
Suzanne
Suzanne
  • 9 x 12 in
Portrait of a Blind Frustrated Artist
Portrait of a Blind Frustrated Artist
  • 9 x 12 in
Eve
Eve
  • 16 x 20 in
Bayou Bank
Bayou Bank
  • 16 x 20 in