Michael D. Edens’ Lion Drawing at InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile

RAWRSOME! I’m pleased to announce that my charcoal “Lion” drawing is a permanent 5’x5′ textured, shimmering wall installation in all 23 elevator lobbies of the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile. Forbes.com did a full write-up about the artwork as part of the hotel’s 2013 renovation, however, the article’s author, Andrew Bender, didn’t mention my name as the artist of the artwork. I contacted Andrew requesting a reference by name, but have not received a reply.

Original charcoal artwork: Lion
Date Drawn: 2006
Dimensions (HxW): 14″ x 11″
Michael D. Edens' Charcoal Lion Drawing

The completed elevator lobby installation featuring my artwork. It’s an honor for me, and I think it looks neat in-person. The whole thing shimmers.
Michael D. Edens' "Lion" artwork in all 23 elevator lobbies of the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile

Tom Brassell, Digitally Imaged Surfaces Consultant, created a photographic blog post about creating the wall installation from the original lion artwork.

100 Abstracts – Collage of Artwork by Michael D. Edens

Photo collage of 100 Abstracts; artwork by Michael D. Edens over a period of about 15 years. The abstract artworks were created in a variety of styles and mediums including paints, charcoal & pastels, pen & ink and digital. Styles include abstract impressionism, expressionism, surrealism and blends of expressive techniques. The drawings and paintings range in size from a few inches to several meters.

100 Abstracts - Collage of Artwork by Michael D. Edens 100 Abstracts – Collage of Artwork by Michael D. Edens

The Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology Artwork

Phase 1 of the new website for the Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology went Live today! I am excited because I had the opportunity to create artwork for the Museum, Library, Archives, Famous Patients, and more! This is just the beginning too! Check it out if you have an interest in art or the miracle of modern medicine made possible by the amazing advances in anesthesia drugs and techniques over the past century.

Portrait of an Anesthesiologist, Drawing and Painting
Portrait of an Anesthesiologist

The following time-lapse video shows the drawing/painting process for a portrait of Dr. Paul M. Wood. Visit the Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology to view the final portrait and more artwork.

Biography / Artist Statement – Michael D. Edens

Due to the overwhelming number of requests for more information about my life, process, and art, and my inability to respond individually in a timely manner, I’ve decided to post a broad biography and artistic statement for you to use for your research and reports. I appreciate your interest in my art, and am sincerely thankful for your positive feedback and curiosity.

~Michael D. Edens


I was born in 1980 and raised in Rochester MN, with my Mom and Dad, a younger brother, and younger sister. I currently live in Houston TX with my wife. When I was a child, I had a strong urge to create things, not just artistically, but I liked being inventive and imaginative. I enjoyed drawing and sculpting a lot, and would spend hours playing with homemade playdough, crayons, and construction paper. The enjoyment I got from these activities is a feeling I’ve pursued most of my life.

Other people, even my parents, didn’t always understand my art. Abstract art was especially confusing to the people around me, and I was encouraged to paint pretty landscapes. I enjoy pretty landscapes too, but there was more that I wanted to express. And I understood that sometimes I was able to express myself and my emotions with colors and abstract shapes.

Eventually, I found other people at school and over the Internet that understood there are a variety of ways to create art as well. It took a long time to find encouragement and support from other people, and I suppose it was never a guarantee, but I couldn’t stop creating, doodling, and sketching even if nobody else in the world affirmed my work. I also began to see there is always more to learn, both about the process of creating from other people, and about myself and how I would like to create.

As I’ve grown up, my understanding of the process of creating art continually changes. I learned a lot about technique, color theory, and practiced a lot. And every other artist’s work I see influences me in some way, whether I realize it or not. Even day to day events can influence art too, like a particularly interesting sunset, or an interesting scientific concept, or the makeup on someone’s face. I don’t walk around all the time like this, but sometimes I am able to let everything that I can sense in this world pour through me, and I let my interpretation come out on paper.

The process is difficult to explain in words, but it’s a very non-judgmental, observant process. In a way, it doesn’t feel like I’m the one creating the art. For example, I usually don’t plan on what I’m going to draw, or what colors I will use. I open up to the world around me, and the images and color choices seem to pop in to mind when they are ready. I suspect this is due to years of learning about art, and practicing until I don’t think about the process too much. I could always use some more practice, and I was about 25 years old before this process felt comfortable. However, I’m still unable to repeat it consistently.

Additionally, as all of this artistic growth was occurring during my high school years, college years, and beyond, I was going to school and working a lot. I’ve sold a few drawings and paintings here and there, many to friends and family, but I’ve been primarily working as a Marketing Specialist for businesses and individuals for the past 10 years. I love my job very much, because it allows me to be creative in a different way. But I still use the same process of taking in as much information as possible about a person or business, and creating a plan that gets them attention for their work. This creative process is a big part of my life, but again, I suspect it will change over time.

I also feel that it’s important to note that I don’t primarily create art for money. While I think most working artists are fantastic, and I would enjoy trying it someday, I currently create from a uniquely spontaneous attitude, both in subject matter and style. Also, in terms of consistency, there are times when I will draw every day for weeks or months at a time, and other times I’ll focus on activities like reading, playing games, and dealing with the day-to-day events of life for months or years at a time.

For more information and examples of my artistic process, I’ll refer you to an Interview with me in 2008, as well as to time-lapse videos of my drawing/painting process via YouTube. And for more biographical facts, there’s the original School/Work Biography and Art Resume.

I’ll end with noting that I personally don’t think there is any right or wrong way to create art. I think it’s an expression that is unique to individuals and their experience of the world, which changes over time. Practicing art the way everyone around you says it should be done can be helpful, as there is a lot to learn. But through it all, for me, real joy comes from loving and accepting myself completely, living life fully, and expressing my unique perspective. And thanks to the Internet, sharing with the world.

Thanks again for your interest in my art, life, and process. And good luck with your artistic pursuits!

~Michael D. Edens

The Artist Challenge – A Private Art Club

During the summer of 2008, an interesting concept in online art developed between me and fellow artist Vikki North. An “art challenge” was proposed based on a theme or topic, and we both produced interpretive artwork in our respective styles and mediums. The result was overwhelmingly successful, I enjoyed the personal growth as an artist, and the response to the artwork was encouraging.

The Artist Challenge - A Private Art ClubThe experience instilled a desire to make art challenges more inclusive and accessible to artists and art patrons. And with that in mind, I’d like to present the culmination of our recent joint effort: “The Artist Challenge!”

The concept is still the same; a theme or topic is proposed, create your own unique work of art and interpretation of the theme, submit your work to the site, and we’ll share the many inspiring perspectives for all the world to see. We even link back to your site so visitors or art patrons can learn more about you and your artwork!

Additionally, we’ll be moderating a knowledgeable and fun filled forum “Dante’s Pub” that will eventually be made private for contributing artists only.

So are you ready to take the art challenge?!

The first challenge has a final due date of February 14th, and the theme is: UNREQUITED LOVE! Perfect for February. 😉

Stop by The Artist Challenge for more information, view previous challenge galleries, register a forum account, and we’ll see you in the Pub!

aka Captain Mike

Faces in Mind – How I Draw Faces

Some days before I draw, I close my eyes and breathe until I’m close to a kundalini state of mind, and I start to see amazing faces of all kinds. Barely captured in the artwork, the faces are so real, so unlike anything in this world, it feels like more than just imagination. Like my eyes have to close to this world in order to open in another.

There is a gamut of emotions they express, extreme details, and some that seem to embody the very essence of words like “beauty”, “evil”, “fun”, and some… I don’t think there are words to express what they are. I’m not consciously controlling the faces, they move, come, and go on their own, but I’ve never seen them before with my eyes open, and I don’t know where they come from.

I drew a picture that echoes the experience.


Faces in Mind - Drawing of a person with abstract faces overflowing from the head

New Approach

I just wanted to post that I’ll be taking a new approach to this art blog. Instead of increasing the number of existing art galleries on the site, I’m going to post daily sketches and completed art works here in the blog. Basically it’s just easier to maintain and feels like a more organic and consistent method of publishing my art.

Existing blog entries will be categorized in a new section entitled “Out In the World of Art“, and the new posts will begin soon. Enjoy.

Welcome to the MDE-ART.com Art Blog!

MDE-ART.com is continuing its commitment to showcasing artists, art news, and inspiring galleries and art found online. I have added this art blog as a way to conveniently keep you updated, informed, and share little gems of amazing artwork that exist all around the planet. I hope you will be as excited as I am about the treasures in store for you, so bookmark this blog and stop back soon to see the wonders of the online art world.