SkyWest Magazine Article on Michael Flohr

Press & Media

SkyWest Magazine Article on Michael Flohr

May 20, 2009

SkyWest Magazine Article on Michael Flohr




Cover Artist
Michael Flohr by Amanda Bjerke

Vibrant, Impressionistic cityscapes, like the Portland image gracing this issue’s cover, have long been Michael Flohr’s hallmark. Now the acclaimed San Diego artist brings the same distinctive style to a fresh subject matter—jazz.

It’s a topic dear to his heart. “I’ve always loved jazz. Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue is my favorite album. I paint to jazz, so why not paint jazz?” His new pursuit takes him to small jazz venues, sketchpad in hand. “The gestures the jazz guys make instinctively, the ‘s curves’, they’re great images. I just sit with my sketchbook. Sometimes I take black-and-white photographs. Once I see it in my head, I draw it. I make note of the emotions I feel. The sketch is the key to my map of the painting. I make up the colors as I go along. Jazz music is a lot like my painting; it’s unorthodox. The notes shouldn’t work together but they do. That’s the beauty of it. That’s the way I am, too. I’m always using colors that shouldn’t go together—but somehow my colors create an awkward symmetry and peculiar marriage.”

Light plays a formidable role in Flohr’s work. “With the cityscapes I’ve always liked to capture that moment right at twilight, when the sun is down but there’s still an ambient glow in the sky. The jazz clubs have this lighting that creates beautiful shapes and highlights the brass of the instruments. The exaggerated shadows on a jazz stage are perfect for me. I don’t paint details. I paint impressions. That’s what jazz is all about.” Michael Flohr is represented by Crown Thorn Publishing,