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Michael "Warble" Finucane

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The incredible art of Michael "Warble" Finucane is reminiscent of symbolist painter, Gustav Klimt.  His compositions mesmerize with their complexity and beauty.  There is movement, there is life, there is breath in each stroke of the brush.  You find yourself coming back, over and over again, to the painting because you find something new every time you look.

If you like tarot card artwork you will love Michael's work.  The colors, the composition, the subject... all beautifully executed.

We invite you to read our interview with this award winning artist... come find out what makes him tick!


When did you discover your talent for art?  How long have you been creating?


I had been a natural artist since I was a boy and as a teenager. When I was 13 I had no illustrating experience, but when I drew a picture of my little brother with pretty startling realism--I was asked by a family friend to design the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse for a large tattoo on his back. And believe me, this guy was a rough and tumble biker, so he didn't mess around! However, I was a drummer primarily at this point and did not pursue art. So I am now 38. I have been painting and illustrating at a committed level since I was 30.


Why this genre?


I love fantasy and faerie art. I have always loved to read Arthurian literature and fairy tales, so it comes naturally to me.


What inspired you to create with this medium and what inspired the designs?


I am very into 19th century art nouveau interior design art and the Pre-Raphaelites. Lately, I have been learning to blend these styles into a more focused balance between design and realism.  For me, that would be a perfect balance for this genre. I primarily use watercolors.


Your work is reminiscent of a lot of the Art Nouveau from the early 20th Century.  What influenced you to develop this particular style?


I am not completely sure-I love so many artists from that era. All I know is that I love natural forms that blend with a modern feel. I do not consider humankind to be "unnatural" so modernism and "nature" seem to be perfectly aligned in the art nouveau medium of the early 20th century. This type of art inspires and influences me, it gives me massive creative energy when I begin to paint.


You are not formally trained, yet you have a raw natural talent that you have developed into a signature style.  What did you do to nurture your artistic ability?  Did your family encourage your interest in becoming an artist?


Yes, I never went to art school.  I started off just drawing, which I think is important because I was not taught a programmed and static type of method.  This gave me a lot of leeway to be imaginative without being too tainted by markets, schools, or other institutional styles. However, in the past 5 years I have been studying with a local classically trained artist and watching tons of watercolor technique videos.  And yes, my family was always supportive of my work, even though I am the only artist in the family.


Where do you create your art?  In a studio, or just anywhere you can find the space?


I make most of my art in my home. I do not have a studio. I own a drawing table, but I didn't actually enjoy using it-felt too formal and rigid. So I went out and bought this massive clipboard and I tape on my illustration board or watercolor paper to it. It's mobile and feels less constrained.



What is your favorite medium to work with?


Watercolors. Water and paint can make magic on their own-so many neat little miracles can happen through different applications. I've used acrylics on oil drums (for an oil drum painting competition I was in) and on canvas, but watercolors basically do it for me.


Do you often experiment with others?


Not usually. I'm a hermit. But that is not to say I wouldn't want to. Artists can be finicky people and equally hermetic, so the opportunity does not arise too often.


In what ways do you stretch yourself to make your work grow?


I do not see the world like I did before I began illustrating. Now, I constantly observe nature-its lighting, shapes, and forms. I also study art history quite a bit. I am never closed to a learning experience; I'm always studying.


What artists, dead or living, inspire you?


Margaret MacDonald. Alan Lee. Frank Frazetta. Charles Vess. John William Waterhouse.


What is the major venue you use to sell your work?


I typically find affordable renaissance fairs and faerie festivals that are vendor friendly and sell my stuff there. Also, my new website will have a shopping cart/ market area in which people may buy prints or originals.


Do you do most of your own marketing?


Primarily, yes. However, Kim Cross, editor of Faerie Magazine, is providing much of the current marketing for my prints and for other products. She has been extremely supportive and is a wonderful person. Also, Robert Gould of Imaginosis has been giving me really good advice on marketing and the nuts and bolts of artist rights and deal brokering for illustration jobs. Robert is an awesome guy working for and promoting artists that march to the beat of a different drum.



How do you break up the time with creating and marketing?


I ask for help with marketing and with keeping up maintenance with my website business. My website manager and designer, Tina Taylor of Mermaid of Gig Harbor Design, does much of the marketing work for my website promotion. Also, faerie artist and website builder Julie Fain will be joining Tina in building my new website. By asking for help and creating positive networking alliances, I am able to focus much of time to painting. After all, I am an artist!


Do you attend trade shows to market your work?


Yes, I do, renaissance fairs , faerie festivals, and other events to sell my art in person. For me, that is the best way to sell one's art.


What's next for you?  What projects are you working on?


I am steering my work into book cover and interior illustration markets in the publishing industry. I am working with fantasy author Risa Aratyr for illustrating a new cover for Hunters of Light (Harper Collins) and a sequel book, which she is currently negotiating with Tor Books. Also, I am going to illustrate the sequel to Michela Scheuerman's Children of the Goddess series and other titles she is currently working on. I am planning to paint my second album cover for the doom metal band Black Pyramid on Meteorcity Records.



What advice do you give beginning artists?

Use your illusion.


Do you have a website, or other contact information for buyers to reach you and view your work? and/or  Also, I can be found under the name Mike Warble on Facebook.


When you are working on a commissioned piece, do you find you have to dig deeper for the creativity?


I'm really into Zen. So I would say: Be formal in your practice, but let your creativity be free and informal in your heart and mind. New artists should also "be the boss" and set realistic agreements with those that commission them. There are so many sources of inspiration; the river can never run dry. Believe it.

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