WE'RE LOVING: Michael Gredler
We'd like you to meet our favorite artist, Michael Gredler. When we opened Eben House over 3 years ago we wanted to pay homage to Captain Eben Snow who in 1776 built the stately brick Federal style house that still stands proudly today at 90 Bradford Street. We commissioned local artist Michael Gredler to interpret Captain Snow and his family in large-scale portraits painted in the style of 18th century primitive portraiture. The portraits are mashups of historic paintings each with a little twist in homage to the quirkiness and love of self-expression embraced in Provincetown. Each guestroom at Eben House features an oversized portrait of one of the family members and our guests delight in the modern twist each portrait has been given. Michael's portraits are one of our favorite parts of Eben House. Read on to learn about Michael and click the button for his website.
1. How did you get your start as an artist?
I believe that I was born with certain creative gifts and began using them at an early age. At age ten my father gave me my first camera which was a very exciting moment for me. The excitement around taking photographs is still with me today. Capturing either a moment,landscape or an expression on someone's face has always been part of my makeup as an artist.
When I was 19 my father sent me to Rhode Island School of Design for the summer and then went on to get my BFA from SUNY Purchase in NY where I majored in graphic design and photography.
Fast forward after several years being a production artist for a small firm in Boston I moved to Provincetown and began taking painting classes at age 49. I started painting flowers and landscapes and eventually moved onto doing portraits. Portraiture soon became my passion.
My first major commission came from Kevin O'Shea and David Bowd of Salt Hotels in 2014. I was commissioned to paint fourteen portraits of a sea captains family and each painting includes a humorous twist. It was such a creative and fun project to be a part of. It took over a year to complete all 14 portraits and I am quite proud of the results. I will often go over to Eben House and say hello to "The Family".
2. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
So much of my inspiration comes from my surroundings and nature as we live in such an aesthetically beautiful part of the world. Some of my inspiration for portraiture comes from my photographs of people as well as live models. It's all about the expression in someone's face. Especially the eyes.
3. Why did you choose Provincetown?
Provincetown is one of those places that people often come to visit and never leave. In 2001 after spending many vacations and long weekends her I met someone who later became my husband. We both loved Provincetown so we decided to make it our home. To me it is such a beautiful town and there is no other place quite like it in the world.
4. Describe your perfect day in Provincetown?
A perfect day in Provincetown for me would consist of starting my morning with a cup of coffee or tea in the garden,a bike ride through the trails and dunes and a swim during the summer or fall season. Painting in my studio,working in our garden and sharing a meal at home or out with my husband and close friends.
5. What is your favorite piece that you've done and why?
I can't say that I have a single favorite piece that I would call my favorite. My favorite collection of paintings would be the ones that I did for Eben House and most recently "The Drag Captain" for HBO. One of my favorite portraits at Eben House is the lady with the tattoos. There's something about the look in her eyes and the painting in general that holds a haunting and mysterious quality.
6. What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I like to cycle,work in our garden and on our home. Not only do I enjoy creating art but I also hang art for clients and occasionally do freelance work for an interior designer. Spending time with friends and family is also very important to me. I really enjoy having friends over for dinner, watching old movies and reading.
7. What is your ideal style?
My painting style can sometimes be a combination of slightly abstract and realism. I can either paint something linear and more precise or do something looser and more abstract. My ideal style is just the just right combination of both. As an artist I believe it is always a good idea to leave something out of a painting which can give a bit of mystery and enjoyment for the viewer.