The world of automotive art has a bright new talent from the West Indies in the Caribbean: Michael Brooks lives in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, where he was born and raised. Remarkably, his artistry is entirely self-taught:
“I was fortunate to have been exposed to paints and brushes at an early age because my father always painted as a hobby. I also had an early interest in classic cars because my grandfather proudly owned models from the 1930s. Growing up in that environment with their interest and encouragement sowed the seeds of my eventual career.”
Educated at the University of the West Indies, Michael graduated with a degree in Physics. However, the creative urge to pursue his love of art remained. The transition soon began:
“I decided that Physics was not really for me and took a year off to teach myself to paint. This is not unusual in Jamaica. We have a lot of talented artists here and many are self-taught. Because of the island’s small size, our artists are readily exposed to each other’s techniques, ideas and motivation, which provides informal yet invaluable training."
He learned how to use watercolors and for a few years worked exclusively in that medium, gradually switching to painting with acrylics on canvas. The skills developed led to employment in graphic design, architectural renderings and other types of freelance artwork — while taking part in numerous local art exhibitions and competitions. He eventually became a full time fine artist, with compositions of Caribbean landscapes and portraits.
In 2010, Michael painted a car for first time: a Delahaye, simply because it was so beautiful. In 2013 he won an award at the Des Moines Concours d’Elegance — his first foray into competitive car art. That success encouraged him to explore the genre, and a visit to the Amelia Island Concours in 2014 really opened his eyes to the world of automotive art:
“I saw the paintings on display and was inspired and motivated to create more of my own. This genre combines my detailed representational style and my love of beautiful cars. I'm a classic car owner and I’m learning how to restore them. I have a genuine enthusiasm for classic automobiles and believe this is evident in my work. I've an obsession with capturing the effects of light, particularly glowing or backlit. This is not easily achieved by mixing color so I use a lot of tinted glazes over brilliant white.”
Michael’s first car was a 1967 MGB GT; his current restoration project is a 1967 Porsche 912.
Commission Michael to create a unique painting for you!
Call Peter Aylett at 949-443-0500 or email for details.