Michael Walton lives and draws at home, in the barn he converted ten years ago near Cambridge, England. He is a husband, father of two, and was an architect in Cambridge and California from the late 1960s- until a major stroke upended his personal and professional life in Spring 2012.
Michael's cerebral condition transformed his reality: unable to speak at all for many months, his dominant right side and the best part of his speech remain paralysed still, and he is no longer able to be the active architect and world traveller he once was.
His extraordinary new creativity and talent, however, have awakened.
Early in his recovery, Michael began to master the use of his left hand and soon began, spontaneously, to represent travel through the natural history of his mind on paper, without having to leave his armchair.
Having been right handed his whole life, Michael steadily became a full time, self-taught, left handed artist. He draws daily, from his imagination, and has produced more than 300 drawings, in less than two years and has recently also taken up watercolour.
What began as focused studies of nature - the geological foundations beneath us, the mountainous and volcanic terrain on the horizon and composition of clouds - have developed into highly stylized perspectives on the inner workings of Tolkeinesque habitats.
Michael's work centres around his perspective of the complex balances in natural order. Repeatedly, vast bodies of calm water meet the magnificence of land. Recent studies delve into life in those waters and subterranean ecology, and rise to explore the infinite ways a cloud might form or an imagined species of tree might evolve. These explorations now even reach beyond earth, to outer space. Almost always the sky is ruled by the shining sun and animated by a flock of seagulls or the jet stream of a tiny airplane, while sea or landscapes are peppered by evidence of human existence. Travel, movement, architecture, engineering and feats of human and natural design are all seen in harmony together: perhaps a lone sailor in a single sailboat here, a cruise ship on the horizon, a steaming train or a perfectly rendered church, village, bridge, tunnel there... All are alive, evolving and exquisitely understood in their interconnectedness.
Michael has developed a bold, unique style, with a remarkable dexterity and attention in putting simple pen directly to paper which it is our privilege to share.
This work is not only a self-healing practice for Michael and an alternative for the challenging draftsmanship of his former architectural practice, but, as we hear Michael saying in the short film made about him, also featured on this website: "I feel a sense of purpose".
Michael is very pleased to share images of his present work on this site and to answer any correspondence via email.