Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Elisa: If it's not a secret, can you say something more about the "1000 Words Project" and your collaboration with MLR Press? Have you already a list of the authors who will take part to the project? or at least some of the images they chose for the stories?
Michael: The working title for the 1000 Words Project book is "Illustrated Men". A short list of stories has been made from all the entries and include new authors as well as some that have been previously published. Some of the stories to be included are ones based on my pieces titled 'Carson', 'Buds', 'Metamorphosis' and 'Red Truck'. The piece MLR has license for the cover of one of their other anthologies is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", which I expect is a collection of military themed tales. (Ndr Buds is also the cover of Spare Parts by Scott & Scott, one of the reason why I searched more info on Michael...)
Elisa: I'm really curious to know what inspires you, since your paintings are already a complete story... you don't paint an abstract beautiful man, you put him in a contest, with a story, and for what I know, you often do that without a commission. So I was wondering if you have a story inside your mind that you represent.
Michael: At one time most of my work was just the celebration of the male physique, and from time to time that is my primary motivation. As my work evolved I began incorporating more of myself into it. My feelings, fantasies, values and just things going on in the world around me are sparks of inspiration. Images of gorgeous men are great but I enjoy expressing more than that and I think by building a setting and creating a moment gives other layers and depth that the viewer can connect with. I have a vague idea of a background story with each work. It actually develops as the piece develops. The art sometimes takes me in another direction than where I intended to go.
Elisa: Do you use real life models? Since, let me say that your men are really beautiful, but not that "out-of-the-world" beauty, they can be the hunk you pass on the street walking to work every morning...
Michael: No, most of these men are not real, however I do draw inspiration from and reference pics of real guys. I usually compose a figure from an assortment of others then give them my own spin. I do try to keep them looking like someone you might actually meet.
Elisa: How do you work? I follow your blog, so I see your On the Drawing Board posts, but I'm not an artist, so my question is really simple, what media do you use? and technique (pastel, oil, computer graphics...)?
Michael: My medium is pastels. I use my computer as a tool at the beginning to create what I call a blue print. I begin with my idea, then I cut and paste elements together on my computer. I manipulate, alter, and adjust to work out issues of perspective and proportion. Then I make an outline pencil sketch, working out, refining and filling in gaps left in the blueprint. Armed with the pencil sketch and blueprint I start working on what will be the final piece with pastels on paper.
On the Drawing Board: Leap of Faith
About Michael: Michael Breyette is a self taught artist who has been drawing for as long as he can remember. But, it wasn't until moving from a conservative family and hometown in rural upstate NY that he felt the freedom to express his true self and his true passions in his artwork.
The resulting illustrations of male nudes and gay themed works rendered in soft pastel are what turned his hobby into a career. In 2000 he found a global audience by posting a few of these pieces on the Internet. Three years later he made the decision to quit his secure day job and be a full time self supporting artist.
One of the major rewards of that decision came in 2007 when renowned gay pictorial publishing house Bruno Gmünder of Germany published Summer Moved On, a collection of Michael's works, followed by calendars in 2008 and 2009. His works also appear in the anthology Stripped and The Greatest Erotic Art of Today Volumes 1 & 2 (for which he won the Viewer's Choice Award in 2008), as well as numerous magazines including Blue, Manner Aktuel, Unzipped, Gaydar, and  for which he earned the distinction of having the magazine's first ever illustrated cover. His work has also appeared on several book covers.
Summer Moved On
Michael's works can be viewed and purchased at his online gallery, www.breyette.com, where in addition to his originals; he offers prints, postcards, and magnets and copies of his books and calendars. He is also represented by leading male figurative gallery, Lyman-Eyer, of Provincetown MA.
Summer Moved On Calendar 2008
It's obvious that I post this picture only for the goody, since the calendar is two years old... ;-)
More Artists at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art
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