Mike Monville has a long history of involvement with the art community in the Lapeer area. I could probably write a book about this very talented, completely unassuming man ... er, someone else could write a book, I'm sure I only know a fraction of what there is to know. For this post I am only going to write about his influence on my artistic growth. But I have to include at least a quick mention of him being involved in the early discussions of bringing an art gallery to downtown Lapeer, and moving the Lapeer Art Association from their home in a single building at a rural intersection a few minutes outside of town into said downtown gallery. I was not part of those particular discussions, my role at the time was focused on other parts of the implementation plan. But Mike and I became part of the same team once the gallery opened and an advisory committee was being formed to help guide its growth, which we both have served on since its inception.
Over the years I have gotten to know Mike and have fallen in love with his artistic style - a very loose & light, almost ethereal depiction of mostly nature themes. His wife Donna is also an artist (and just a generally awesome lady) who specializes in woven baskets and beeswax candles.
I have taken two art classes taught by Mike. The first, Pen and Ink Drawing was held a few years ago at Three Waters Studio at his home which is at the dead-end of a country road providing plenty of artistic inspiration in the surrounding landscape. (In fact, one of the Plein Aire oil painting sites taught by Jason Cornish was at the edge of a pond on Mike & Donna's property - this was the result.) Since I like drawing with ink anyway, this class was a good fit for me, I learned a lot and feel my technique greatly improved. One of the pieces I completed during that class (the one with the cardinal) recently sold at the annual LAA Winter Show.