Michael_Rousseau_40_website Born
August, 1974
Pittsfield, MassachusettsEducation
2002 – Master of Arts in Teaching (K-12)
Rhode Island School of Design. RISD.
1997 – Bachelor of Fine Arts Illustration
Rhode Island School of Design, RISD.

I am in the midst of a self-guided exploration into the many facets of oil painting, including an in-depth study of materials and techniques employed by painters from the High Renaissance to modern masters. During this research, I have  found that I prefer the working methods of the Italian, French and Dutch Masters (Michelangelo, Sargent, Caravaggio, Klimt, Bouguereau, Rembrandt and more), many of whom utilized warm underpaintings, subtle glazes, and thick impasto to create complex jewel-like surfaces and deep shadows. I think these methods have largely been forgotten by today’s painters. Using this knowledge as a foundation or stage, a wide range of subjects from multi-figured compositions to landscapes to the still life are translated and explored in each painting. References from varied sources (classical paintings, sculptures, erotica, tattoos, pop culture, etc.), inhabit  shared spaces offering new meanings in their juxtapositions. I am naturally drawn to darker imagery and I allow my imagination the full freedom to engage in a visual dialogue to expand my own sphere.

I enjoy crafting my paintings with a limited palette of seductive earth tones, peppered with the strength of pure cadmiums.

I am currently working on a series of painted guns called “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”. Each gun is painted at actual size and displayed as if mounted on a wall. It is my way of addressing things that frighten or intrigue me, in this case, both.

My studio is in the Berkshires of Massachusetts.


Hard Work | Work Hard