Originally from Portland, Oregon, and a graduate of Portland State University, Michael Tienhaara currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although primarily a self-taught artist, during the last few years Michael has completed workshops and private study with internationally known artists such as Ken Auster, Michael Hallinan, Jeff Horn, Mark Kerckhoff, and Michael Schofield. Michael attributes much of his education in painting to his extensive career in printmaking. During the mid-1980's he won a first place and second place award for screen printing excellence in an international competition. As technology changed Michael moved from screen printing to giclee production on large format digital presses. Always the student, Michael constantly questioned his artist friends about all facets of painting. He subscribes to the theory that an artist can learn more in a short period of time if the artist learns practical painting techniques from successful working artists rather than from a more structured, theoretical university setting.
Michael’s style transcends traditional impressionism. His works have a haunting quality of ethereal stillness that transports the viewer to a different dimension. Michael uses a blend of each with a greater emphasis on the fantasy component. The execution of his paintings comes from the mind in what Michael often refers to as "planned expressionistic accidents" from stored images of scenes he has observed in nature and embellished by his own imagination. Michael's work has sold nationally and internationally to galleries, dealers, art auctioneers, private, corporate collectors, and featured on national television. Always the experimenter and innovator, Michael has worked in a variety of styles ranging from highly abstract expressionism to " loose impressionism." "My style is a moving target. I paint what I feel- allowing the paint to flow, rather than working in a particular structured style."