Mike Goguen

Acrylic, Oil


Michael  A. Goguen     Born; July 10, 1967 

I am primarily a self taught artist who works in the technology profession. 

I first began painting in 1981 and for the first 8 years, while I lived in Aylmer, Quebec.  I basically developed my style (although, In 1983, I actually exhibited in my first public art exhibition, at the tender age of 15 and with, what I would now consider to be far too few years of experience as an artist at the time, looking back in hindsight).  In 1989, I joined the Aylmer Arts Council and participated in public exhibitions (at which I had sold several works) with them until I purchased my house in Bells Corners, Nepean, in 1995.  Also in 1991, I had met Gaston Therien, curator of the Ottawa Art Gallery in the Byward Market building and exhibited and sold my artwork there until 1997 when my son, David, was born and the Byward Market building temporarily closed for renovations. 

In early 1998 I joined the Artrise Gallery in Stittsville and exhibited there until the gallery closed down in mid 2000, shortly after my oldest daughter, Alyssa, was born.  I was then becoming too busy with raising children and therefore, did not seek to join another gallery at that time, limiting sales to a few commissioned works.  I simply had less time to paint. In October 2003, my twin daughters, Kaylie and Jenna, were born and I no longer had any time to paint; I took a hiatus from painting for the next 7 1/2 years. In 2011, with the children getting older, I was finding time to paint again and I joined the Ottawa West Artists’ Association where I am a member today.  More recently, I have also become a member of Art Lending of Ottawa, the Richmond Village Art Club and ArtBomb Daily.

My media of choice are oil on canvas and acrylic on canvas although I sometimes paint in watercolours as well.  I have also done some three dimensional art (wood carving and soapstone carving) in the past as well as some more utilitarian pieces, when, as a young man with more time on my hands I had built several functional stereo amplifiers which involved building the chassis, cutting and fashioning the aluminum front panels, etching the copper circuit boards, soldering and assembly.  Today, I use my three dimensional artistic ability primarily in the restoration and repair of antique clocks, of which, I am a collector.

Major influences in my work (painting) range from Salvador Dali to Robert Bateman and the fictional works of many fantasy writers including J.R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov and Stephen R. Donaldson.  Thus my artwork ranges in subject matter from realistic to purely surreal; although even the most abstract of my works, for instance “Space Station” and “The Great Gates of Kiev” still exhibit a three dimensional appearance composed of recognizable elements.

I am currently employed in Kanata at the local office of a multinational electronic measurement and test equipment manufacturer. 

Artist's Statement

For over thirty years, I have attempted, for the most part, to present the viewer with a sense of escape to the unusual; whether it may be to the serenity of a mountain stream, to a world of fantasy and make-believe, or delving into macroscopic or microscopic  realms of surrealism; separating the viewer’s senses from the mundaneness of daily routine.  For this reason, my artwork is a three dimensional representation on a two dimensional surface, using perspective, which   I often tend to exaggerate.  Also, due to the “escape” nature of my artwork, the subject matter does not intend to make any political statements expressing any modern political views (although artwork has a great potential for being used as such) but rather, is intended to present the viewer with a setting from which a story may emerge.

My work ranges from realism, including paintings done from photos of various landmarks I have taken,  to fantasy based surrealism.  My work has several major influences; not only by past masters of painting, but by music and the writings of great science fiction and fantasy authors as well.  Influential visual artists include Alex Colville, Salvador Dali, and Roger Dean; Roger Dean being a one of the most proficient illustrators of record album covers for progressive rock bands from the late 1960’s until the 1980’s.  Some of the music artists who have inspired my work have released records adorned with a Roger Dean masterpiece; such as bands like “Yes”, Asia and Uriah Heep.  Other musical artists who have been an inspiration are Amadeus Mozart, Johannes Strauss, Jethro Tull, Alan Parsons, Rush, Starcastle and Pink Floyd.  The two main fantasy fictional authors  that have influenced my artwork are Isaac Asimov and J.R.R. Tolkien.