Michael Cowdroy started painting in the early 1980s, initially painting landscape watercolours drawn from photographs taken from local and interstate trips in South East Australia.
He left Australia in 1983 for a twelve month tour of Europe and was exposed to many important collections of European painting. During this profound experience of seeing the paintings of the great masters such as Da Vinci, Rembrandt and Velasquez - almost at once Michael decided to go to Art School and develop his interest in landscape painting.
After researching art schools in Europe and other places, in 1985 he enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts - the oldest art school in the United States. In the next 3 1/2 years he was influenced by many well known artists and teachers but he was most influenced by the teaching and writing of Philadelphia based landscape painter and teacher, Seymour Reminick.
Briefly, Reminick’s perception of art is that the natural environment around us has all the subject matter that an artist will ever need. What is important in a work is the artist’s emotional response to that subject matter. If the artist is true to that initial response, then the painting will in effect, ‘paint itself’. The artist continually finds and paints the parts of the subject matter that they first found to be exciting and interesting .
Following on from this, Michael looked to the landscape paintings and watercolours of Corot, Constable, Turner, Rembrandt, Goya, Velasquez and others for inspiration. Michael also developed an interest in etching during this period and explored the techniques of aquatint etching - complementing the paintings.
In 1988 Michael returned to Sydney, Australia with a commitment to continue to develop his interest in landscape painting and aquatint etching. Michael has had 4 solo exhibitions as well as participating in many group exhibitions in NSW. Michael has won many awards for his work as well as merit scholarships while in the United States. His work is in many private and corporate collections in the United States, Japan and Australia.