Michael Nicholas was born in 1942. For the last forty years of his life he has consistently worked in establishing a reputation as an environmental painter, concentrating mainly on the subject of birds within the landscape. The birds which he paints are not highly detailed portraits but they are more expressionistic in attempting to illuminate the essence of the bird, in the manner of some Asian artists.
"My work is deeply personal," I wish to make the essence of the subject more readily appreciable. A traditional approach is the best way for me to achieve this, although I would like my work to go beyond meeting the eye and intellect of the viewer and penetrate the heart”.
Michael has won many of Australia's most prominent art awards and has received wide critical acclaim. His work has been known throughout Australia for many years with numerous solo exhibitions. Michael's work has also been well received in the United States of America with exhibitions in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Michael's work is represented in major State and Federal Government collections as well as being represented in municipal galleries, universities, teaching colleges and many corporate and private collections. In 1992 Michael was appointed to the Queensland Government program of 'Artists in Parks' and completed his residency at Girraween National Park in the state's South East.
In 1996 Michael was commissioned to produce a series of paintings to accompany the poem My Country by Dorothea MacKellar, in the book “I Love a Sun burnt Country”
In 2000 the Qld Government commissioned the portrait of former Premier the Hon. E.G.Theodore which was unveiled at Parliament House in 2001.This led to a long term project to paint portraits of all Premiers from 1860 to 1946 & several other works, including the portrait of the present Premier, Peter Beattie. Also a portrait of the Speaker of Parliament, & that of the first woman elected to the Queensland Parliament.
To celebrate the 60th Birthday of the Artist in 2002 the Redcliffe Regional Art Gallery held a showing entitled "Portrait of the Painter". This was a retrospective exhibition of 30 years of the work of Michael .displaying the diversity and development of his work.
In 2005 a 2.5m bronze statue, The Cunnamulla Fella’ designed by Michael was unveiled in Cunnamulla S.W. Qld.
Awards and Prizes
1970 Redcliffe Prize
1971 Royal National Association Landscape Prize
1974 Charters Towers Memorial Prize
1975 Queensland Rugby Union Art Prize
1976 Beenleigh Art Prize 1977 Beenleigh Art Prize
1982 Queensland Art Gallery Trustees Art Prize
1983 Suncorp Art Prize
1984 Stanthorpe Art Prize
1984 Aberdare Art Prize
Queensland Art Gallery
Brisbane City Gallery
Commonwealth Government Art Bank
Townsville Regional Art Gallery
Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery
Queensland University of Technology
University of New England
James Cook University
Redcliffe Municipal Collection
Michaels work has been collected by many individuals & corporate collections:- Mobile Oil Australia: Westpac Bank: Queensland Coal: Mount Isa Mines: Abadare Collieries: Lend Lease: A.M.P. Society: Allgas Energy, The Australian Dental Association: Sheraton Hotel Corporation: Laguna Quays Resort: Aqua Del Raye Developments: Theiss Corporation: Placer Pacific International: Former P.M Robert Hawke: Sir Jon Bjelke Peterson: Former Lord Major Sally-Anne Atkinson and Sir Leon and Lady Trout