Michael Coleman's earliest experiences proved to be the foundation on which he built his artistic career. Coleman, born in Provo, Utah, learned to love the world of nature from first-hand contact. He hunted and fished as a boy around his hometown and frequently trapped animals as well. On many occasions, some artistic sense led him to bring his catch home, where he sketched it with careful attention to every feather or marking. Such experiences provided Coleman an intimate acquaintance with the natural world.
Coleman's paintings rarely represent the vistas and peaks which captivate many artists. His work does not often feature bright sunshine or shades of any color in full sun. Instead, Coleman loves the rich and varied palette which is present on a cold, rainy day, deep in the forest. He finds beauty and depth in swamps, marshes, lakes and above all, in animals. In fact, Coleman's works are animal portraits, insights into the soul of the raccoon, the bear, the eagle. Coleman recognizes that his alternative subject matter is open to various psychological interpretations, but he acknowledges his own truth: the dark, snowy days, when moose rut and animals are at their physical prime, have truly captured his heart.
The work of this expert romantic Western painter has received extensive and consistent recognition. Sports Afield named Coleman one of the world's top outdoor artists. His Passing Showers appeared in the first Arts for the Parks contest of 1987. Articles on Coleman have appeared in the nation's leading fine arts periodicals.