Michael Teel

Michael Teel was born in Brooklyn, NY. Both of his parents were from West Virginia. When his father died in a construction accident in 1963, his family moved back to WV.

Michael attended college at West Virginia State University, then went onto The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He has worked as a designer for 28 years for several small Advertising and Design firms and one Fortune 500 company in the Washington DC area. He is currently the owner of Teel Design Group, offering design and branding, web development and social media integration with a focus on small business and nonprofit organizations.

A member of the West Virginia Allied Artists, Michael has exhibited in several juried art shows throughout the state.  The West Virginia Culture and History Juried Show featured two of his paintings, “Friends of Fossilized Carbon” and “Appalachia Gothic.”

“Friends of Fossilized Carbon” won an Award of Excellence that included its purchase and admittance into the state’s permanent collection.

Based on the hues and chroma that are contained in a painting, getting a good, accurate photo can be difficult at times. This painting is a good example. The entire work has a greenish-yellow cast over it. I wanted to show this un-natural glow as a way to demonstrate the uneasy state that has settled over the coal industry and the people who depend on it. The result, which I’m happy with, has made the photography a real pain in the you-know-what. In person, this painting has a real nice saturated glow to it. Here, online, you’ll have to trust me. — M. Teel


Michael’s first one-man-show, “Canaan to Charleston: Painting West Virginia by Michael Teel,” included landscapes and figures, highlighting the beauty and despair of the state.

It is a pleasure and privilege to feature some of Michael’s latest work on Longridge Review.

Michael Teel

“I’m always looking for interesting patterns of light and color in the natural landscape or figure. Whether it’s a field of tall grasses, the shade of a large tree, a reclining figure or a simple, ordinary still life, I’m intrigued by the subtle variations in value and how those singular pieces of color come together to make a interesting composition. Drawing upon my experience as a graphic designer, I follow the creed of “Less is More” in my paintings. I try to convey a mood or compose a scene with as little detail as possible.

I enjoy the process of examining a potential painting and deciding what needs to stay and what needs to be removed to give the viewer a sense of design, not just a random “snapshot” of a particular location or space in time.

My current work is focusing on the West Virginia landscape and the effect of the social pressures our citizens face during this time of change in our country and in our state.”

You may view more of Michael’s work and read more about it on his blog: Michael Teel’s Nearly 2 Paintings a Week Blog.

Three Trees
Three Trees
I just recently finished this piece. I’ve noticed in my own home, the importance of smart phones. They have become, in a lot of ways, our main form of social interaction. I watch my wife and daughters zipping through their phones every evening, whether it’s work related or friendship related, it’s become part of the routine in our house. Me, I mostly read the sports page with mine. Thanks to my daughter Suzanna for posing for this painting. — M.Teel