Flagler Artists: “Selfish” painter creates beach landscapes

He readily acknowledges, or should we say, admits, that the motivation behind his current artwork truly does come from a selfish place, yes, inside himself.
Yet that statement doesn’t translate that Mike Magnus is an egotistical guy.
He’s just transparently honest about his relationship with the artwork he creates. For the past five years, Magnus has concentrated on producing beach landscape scenes. He enjoys that setting. He is also motivated by
“Probably does sound selfish,” he started, continuing on after a short pause, “But really it is more about self-satisfaction with my artwork.”
At age 70 with four years of retirement under his belt, Magnus combines his previous wage-earner work in the computer industry with his passion for art.
“I draw everything from scratch online using a stylus as a pencil and I just keep drawing until I get what I like,” he said.
Then he starts to paint online adding color and shading. Sometimes the process from blank screen to a project ready to print can take a couple days or a couple of weeks or a few months.
“It just depends on what I am drawing,” he said.
At times he draws from his own photographic memory; sometimes his inspiration is derived from photos he has taken.
Often, Magnus shared, he secures permission from photographers whose work he admires and uses those to guide his artistry. He’ll select a sunrise or sunset from one photo drawing his own interpretation of it and pick a portion of a beach from another photo repeating the process as he creates a new picture from the elements of other images.
He’s a big fan of clouds. Magnus said he used to lay in the pool at his home and stare up at the clouds capturing their essence in his mind to rely on later when drawing.
Yet for all of his focus of outdoor elements in his work, there is one thing you won’t find him doing: Painting outside.
“I tried plein air with my computer,” Magnus said. “But I wasn’t experiencing success with that. Could be my lack of patience,” he added in a joking yet speculative tone.
He doesn’t display his work in the traditional sense at brick and mortar galleries. He doesn’t even have his own website. Instead, interested patrons connect with Magnus by word of mouth or by spotting his work on his Facebook page.
He’s particular about how his work is presented.
He sends completed images to a specialized print shop that uses giclee paper/printing to produce what Magnus sells to his customers.
Giclee is more expensive than other types of paint printing, but its color retention and longevity makes it the go-to for Magnus.
Giclee prints which use pigment-based inks retain color vibrancy much longer than other types of paint using dye-based inks, according to CanvasVows.com, a website specializing in home décor that claims giclee-produced artwork can last from 100 to 200 years before fading.
Even though he worked in the computer industry because of its economic stability, he said, Magnus earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Georgia State University. Throughout his computer career, he dabbled with art building upon the skills he gained as a young boy drawing hot rod cars.
Even with his collegiate training, Magnus adds self-taught skills. He’ll research new methodologies: he’ll take classes online.
He’s constantly looking for ways to improve his artwork.
It’s almost parental, he jokes.
“Sometimes I take my art so personal, it is almost like each piece is a child to me,” he said. “I make sure that they each have a special home.”