Michael Bush investigates through painting the human tendency to see faces or other patterns in ambiguous images. He is a self-taught artist coming to the artform rooted in the idea of balance and selfcare through daily practice, abstract expression, and curiosity. Bush is continually inspired by the improvisational opportunities afforded to him through the combination of materials like acrylic paint, water, isopropyl alcohol, and enamel spray paint. He uses the chemical reactions of these materials as an artistic dance partner – emphasizing and countering, allowing for imagery to expand and contract with his embellishment of chance – resulting in works that rest deftly in a liminal state that spans recognition to abstraction.

For more than fifteen years, Bush’s volunteership has demonstrated his commitment to the Columbus arts community, where he currently resides. From service to the Columbus Arts Fest’s Emerging Artists Mentorship Program to his tenure as board president of the Franklinton Arts District (2021-22) to serving as a juror for regional and national exhibitions, most notably the Naples National Arts Fair. Bush has presented works extensively regionally, with select exhibitions including Art Link Gallery’s Midwest Regional Exhibition and the Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition. He has works in a host of private collections, most notably the permanent collection of Capital University’s Schumacher Gallery.



The process I use to create a painting relies on chemical reactions to create fluid motions that blend colors and create texture. I start by applying a layer of acrylic paint that I have mixed with water. From there, I use spray paint to build depth and texture with an over spray technique to manipulate the water and paint to engage with one another. This process is repeated in multiple stages with different colors. While the spray paint and the acrylic paints are still in motion, I use a clear enamel spray paint to break apart the acrylic and spray paints. This causes the chemicals in the spray paints to break down and separate, creating the lines and tonal changes. After I have reached the desired level of depth and motion, I treat the painting as a sculpture and carve out an image from the overall abstraction to focus the viewer on a particular section of the painting feature and highlight the vision I want to share.