Born and raised in Minnesota, Michael settled in the Green Mountains of Vermont where he began his full time career as an artist and oil painter in 1977. Over the next 25 years, he developed a highly successful career and national reputation in the field of illustration. His paintings and drawings became highly sought after by publishers, clients and corporations, and he became a featured guest lecturer and instructor at a large number of art schools, institutions and museums. He and his work have been featured in numerous publications including Art of the West, Southwest Art, Western Art Collector, American Artist, The Artists Magazine and Step By Step Graphics.
During the earlier years when Michael was flourishing as an illustrator, he was also producing oil paintings for the gallery and portrait marketplace. The natural transition that led him to leave his illustration work behind and change his artistic focus, occurred in 2002. Michael became a full time painter in the gallery, museum and art auction world and eventually moved out west.
He has always been equally adept at masterfully handling landscapes, figures, portraits and still lifes, but Michael found that painting the characters and history of the old west especially excited him and for the last 10 year this has been his singular focus. Michael says “The subject of the great American frontier is something that I never grow tired of reading about and translating into beautiful artworks. I love the history, the characters, the costuming, the animals and the landscapes, and the ample opportunities that exist to tell a great story – it’s all there for me. I am so grateful that I have the chance to work with amazing models, cowboys, Native Americans, collectors, galleries and museums. I feel very blessed……”
His work is currently sold through several prestigious western galleries, as well as the Prix De West Show (The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma, OK), Quest For The West Art Show (The Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, IN) and the Sale To Benefit The C. M. Russell Museum (Great Falls, MT). His recent awards include the following: 2015 “Best Oil/Acrylic Painting of Show”at The Traveling West Art Show, Southwest Galleries in Dallas TX, 2015; “Patron’s Choice Award”,“Artist’s Choice Award” in 2014, 2015 and 2016 at Quest For The West. Hundreds of collectors and corporations have his paintings in their permanent collections, as well as The Booth Museum of Western Art and the Pearce Western Art Museum.
He is a member of the “Russell Skull Society of Artists”, and was invited to a member of the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America in 2016. His ever growing number of corporate and individual collectors appreciate the draftsmanship, use of light and colorful atmosphere that Michael is able to bring to his work. In 2012 he published a new book, a limited first edition of 300, “C. Michael Dudash – Western Collection”, showcasing 87 paintings.
“I have always been interested in well executed and beautifully designed oil painting, no matter what the venue, style or label.” Michael says. “The challenge for me as a painter is to take the subject of the old western frontier and create works of art that are moving, beautiful, timeless and universal in their appeal. As for me, I have to daily rely on the good Lord and His inspiration to help me accomplish this formidable task.”
As with most artists, Michael is incredibly passionate about his life’s work, but he does allow himself time to pursue his equally passionate commitment to his guitar/mandolin/piano playing, Christian ministry, and his family. He lives with his wife Valerie, and currently works out of his home and studio in the Coeur d’Alene, ID area.
2016 Eiteljorg Museum, Quest for the West Show, The Artists’ Choice Award
2016 Spirit of the Buffalo Bill Art Show Award