Have a Seat: Artist Michael Ward paints chairs he's encountered on his travels

I didn't think it was possible to come across anyone as obsessed with chairs than Yinka Ilori, but Californian self-taught artist Michael Ward might be in the running. In his series Have a Seat, he loves to depict chairs that he's encountered on his travels, turning the ordinary into the beautiful with stunning acrylic paintings on canvas.

"I began my artistic career doing pen and ink renderings of historical architecture," said Michael. "I began painting in 1980, first in gouache, then in acrylics. Artists whose work I admire and draw inspiration from include Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, Richard Estes and Vermeer. I am most interested in depicting what Alan Watts called the mystery of the ordinary; the workaday world we live in without seeing until we are forced to focus upon it, as in a painting."

Nearly all of Michael's paintings are based on photographs he has taken, primarily of Southern California scenes, over the years: "Though it was never my intention to depict nostalgic scenes, many of the images I have painted have disappeared or been radically altered in the ever-changing landscape that is Southern California. Thus nostalgia is thrust upon the works. But what I am really after is bearing witness, and making people stop what they're doing and pay attention, to something they may have never seen before, but that makes them feel “I know this."

Via direct submission | All images courtesy of Michael Ward