For Michael Van Zeyl, portraiture is much more than a one-sided translation of the artist’s point of view taking form in a subject. It’s an engaging visual dialogue that renders a soul in light, shadow and pigment, continuing the conversation for future generations.
While technical skill is only part of Michael’s gift, his experience has honed his craft to the highest standard. His talents were apparent when he was a boy and he spent subsequent decades mastering a wide range of painting techniques. In particular, 17th century Dutch and late 19th century impressionist styles have resonated with him and surfaced in his own works.
His formal training began at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, continuing on at Chicago’s Historic Palette & Chisel Academy and the Art Students League in New York, where he studied with the most accomplished artists who also paint directly from life under natural light. Michael is currently a faculty member at the Palette & Chisel and has been a popular instructor for several years.
Michael’s work is already appreciated in many public and private collections, such as the United States District Court, University of Chicago and DePaul University School of Law. He has received awards from the Portrait Society of America, Art Renewal Center, the Oil Painters of America and was the 2014 recipient of the Dorothy Driehaus Mellin Fellowship for Midwestern Artists.