Soon after moving to Asheville, NC, to pursue a career as a pencil artist, Mike developed an overwhelming uncertainty in his abilities as an artist and individual. His passion for creating had vanished, so he packed up his pencils and resigned from drawing.
In 2014, a hike across the summit of a bald mountain called Max Patch reignited the flame to create as he came upon the iconic Appalachian Trail. Immediately he was overcome with the desire to draw once again. However, it wasn't going to be as easy as picking up a pencil. The trail itself was also calling him to make the 2,200-mile pilgrimage from Georgia to Maine. Two months later, with no backpacking experience, carrying two sketchbooks and an assortment of pencils, he left from Springer Mountain, Georgia, and headed north.
His journey on the trail not only strengthened his belief in himself but also gifted him with an undying love for nature that he's eager to share with others. Mike continues to work in pencil, but he quickly learned it was time to branch out of the black and white world of graphite and truly convey the vivid imagery he experienced on the trail each day, so he taught himself the colorful medium of pastel.
Today, Mike continues to hone his skills and to blaze trails that
just a few years ago he never would have imagined. He's
written three books on his hike along the Appalachian Trail with
a forth on the way. Never knowing what's around the next bend,
whether a new painting or a new adventure, one can always
find him on a trail somewhere with a sketchbook in hand.