Michael Whelan was born in 1950, in Culver City, California. Whelan received a B.A. in Painting as a President's Scholar from San Jose State University. He identifies M.D. Stewart and Raymond Brose as his "primary mentors and influences" during his training. He also attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles for a short period of time.
For the past two decades, Whelan has been known primarily as one of the world's top illustrators of speculative fiction, having completed more than 350 cover illustrations for major science fiction works. In this field his hundreds of outstanding paintings have been the subject of four books, and have won him an unprecedented fifteen Hugo awards. A self-described Imaginative Realist, he has earned an enormous, loyal fan base for his dreamlike paintings which combine brilliant classical technique with wholly original, often spiritually symbolic, subject matter. He has turned his attention entirely to his gallery art, in a visual exploration of our own interior space as human beings.
His figurative work is painted from life, working with live models from initial monochromatic studies to the final finished oils or acrylics.
Whelan’s work has been featured in museum, university, and gallery exhibitions in this country, Europe, Australia, and Asia. He paints and resides in Connecticut.
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