Artist Michael Zigmond - Capturing Light

I should have called this post "I love nasturtiums". I do. They're pretty. They're easy to grow and they're delicious. You can eat the blossoms and the seeds can pickled and used as a substitute for capers.

Michael Zigmond is a photorealist style of painter, or progressive descriptive, he calls it, and he paints a lot more than nasturtiums. I'm just mostly featuring them. [see above introduction] He uses oil on canvas and all his paintings feature light.  Not like Thomas Kinkade's tacky 'light' of God light but actual literal light and how it illuminates the things around us, how it interacts with textures and surfaces and how it changes everyday, ordinary things into something ethereal and new.

Also, and this is right up there with the thrill I got when the very handsome Jack Long commented on my post about his work in Splash Photography, Michael Zigmond has kindly permitted me to post some of his images and I'm thrilled to be able to show you some of his work.

Hanging Nasturtium

Nasturtiums in Jar
Is this not SO beautiful with the light playing on the glass and the flowers

Nasturtiums and Sweet Peas

Three Nasturtiums with Gold Cloth

Nasturtium Bouquet
These paintings make me feel happy. Look at those shadows!

Nasturtiums on Windowsill 

Lost and Found



Fruit Alter

Cigar and Scotch
Scotch! My favourite thing!

Sugar High

Three Banana Peppers

Horizontal Calla Lily
Refracted light, how the light changes the surface of the table,
shadows, and reflections are mesmerizing!

Someone I once thought was
Michael Zigmond, artist, 
but who is in fact Dr. Michael Zigmond, 
Professor of neurology and psychiatry 
at the University of Pittsburgh 
School of Medicine.
Either way he is adorable.

Michael Zigmond's website is here, check it out he has a lot of work.

Michael Zigmond was born in Sandusky, Ohio, and received his BFA from Bowling Green State University in 1984. That is the best name for a university I ever heard.

He takes the objects around them and captures the way light renders the ordinary object in an extraordinary way.  "‘Abstractions of light and shadow can make the ordinary look disquietingly transient", he says.

He likes to capture nature to making its own statement. He says he received mixed messages about art while in university and his work since then has been an attempt to reconcile opposing philosophies. He was able to incorporate aspects of abstraction and realism by featuring what he calls "pure light" and starting with sunlight. Here in his words:
I found what I hoped to be an answer many years ago with pure light. It lent itself readily to abstraction yet allowed me to explore the realism with which I was always so comfortable. So I painted pure sunlight, at first streaming into my apartment, creating arbitrary geometric forms that I could render within a very naturalistic framework. I loved the play of representation versus abstraction within the same painting, for it allowed me a foot in both art historical camps. Soon, by chance, objects began to creep into my empty room compositions. I reveled in discovering and depicting their textures with oil paint, as much as any student of the still life. But I always tried to follow a self-imposed rule: would my painting still make an interesting abstraction if devoid of anything recognizable?
It’s been many years since those confused student days, and the memory all of that youthful angst merely brings a smile now. There have been a lot of paintings in between, yet with each one I still learn something new. Most importantly, I’ve learned that life itself, not just art, is all about duality and contradiction. Sensuality and spirituality, thinking and feeling, light and dark, transitory and timeless: these are the opposite poles that inform our existence. A flower fades in the late afternoon light. Even the sun that illuminates the tableau will one day die. Yet paradoxically, this moment, this one miraculous confluence of events brings together something so simple and beautiful that it seems timeless.
I don't know about you, but I love learning what is behind the art I'm seeing and getting a glimpse into the mind of the artist.

His work has been exhibited across the US and many corporate collections feature his pieces.

Thank you for your permission, Mr. Zigmond!


Tonya said...

A far superior painter of light. Awesome as always, Frimm.

Angie said...


Anonymous said...

Just so you know, the picture you have posted is actually not the artist Michael Zigmond, but the Professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Frimmy said...

Hmm...I googled "Professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine" and my Michael Zigmond picture is not among the photos that came up.

However, having never met Mr. Zigmond in person, I concede this may in fact not be him. How would I know? This is the picture that came up consistently when I googled Mr. Z's image. Sadly, when I do that now, MY blog's picture comes up in the search.

Frimmy said...

I did a reverse image look up of that picture and is the good Doctor. Dang it. Well, thanks for the heads up on that, Anonymous.


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