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Michael Tomlinson

Mid-Wales, UK

About the Artist

Michael Tomlinson was born in Accrington, Lancashire in 1958 and has lived in mid Wales since 1986. 

An entirely self-taught artist his first solo show was at Accrington’s Haworth Art Gallery in 1994. Many other solo shows followed including at The Royal Court Theatre in London in 1995, The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth in 1999 and Y Tabernacl in Machynlleth in 1994, 1995, 1997, 2004 and 2015. 

His work has been included in the National Portrait Competition twice and he won Third prize in 1993. Michael has painted many portraits including the playwright, Arnold Wesker and the writer, Jan Morris.


He was awarded an Arts Council of Wales Travel Grant to visit Italy in 1995, won The Ailsa Owen Memorial Award at Y Tabernacl, Machynlleth in 1996 and a Gulbenkian Welsh Art prize in 1998. His paintings are in the collections of The National Museum and Gallery, Cardiff, The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth and Y Tabernacl, Machynlleth.

Michael has written various articles on Art including a piece for The Guardian. A particular interest in the artist Thomas Jones (1742-1803) led to  pieces about him being published in New Welsh Review, 2014, The Transactions of The Radnor Society, 2016 and The Transactions of The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 2016. He gave a lecture on Thomas Jones’ painting, A Wall in Naples, in Y Drwm, at The National Library, Aberystwyth in 2015.

Employing both oils and watercolours Michael's current preoccupation is with the genre of still life. He draws inspiration from the works of Juan Sánchez Cotán, The Dutch Golden Age, Manet and Magritte. Most have a slight edge of surrealism or symbolism and play with ideas of motion, time and serendipity.

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