Mikel (Pronounced “Michael”), is an American painter born Steven D. Mikel in South Bend, Indiana. Formally trained in Photography and Technical Illustration, he began his fine art career as a realist painter focused on revealing the overlooked or unnoticed beauty tucked away in the details of the world around us. Mikel worked with traditional watercolors until 2008 when he began experimenting with brewed coffee. Having always loved the warmth of sepia tones, he extensively researched and successfully developed a coffee paint production process that ensures his coffee paintings have the stability and preservation factors equal that of fine oil paintings.
As his oeuvre grew he realized that the aspects of his own paintings that he was most passionate about were the more abstract areas of textures, washes and tonal layers. Embracing this artistic journey, his mature abstract style has naturally evolved from those favorite areas within his realism paintings and are still inspired by the often missed details he sees. The rich sepia tones of his work glow with an ‘earthy warmth’ and evoke a dynamic flux of shadow and light, interlinked with woven patterns and textures.
Starting with a basic compositional intent, Mikel applies an underpainting of dark coffee washes to a stretched canvas and then systematically removes and applies additional layers of liquid coffee using various implements including absorbent materials, dishware, putty knives, and brushes to create the intricate sepia abstractions.
Mikel currently resides in Coconut Creek, Florida and his paintings are in many fine art galleries within Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. His works have also been featured on television and domestic and international magazines.