Michael E. Vermette double majored in Painting and Printmaking at the Maine College of Art, receiving his B.F.A Painting degree in 1980. He holds a K-12 Maine Art Education certificate and has been a Maine artist teacher for 34 years. A full-time artist and part-time teacher, Michael has been painting in oil, watercolor, and pastel for over 45 years and has won numerous awards for his work, including the Marilyn Sabin Award at the New England Watercolor Society where he is a signature member, and a two-time first place winner of the Castine Plein Air Festival. Michael has participated in numerous plein air events in Maine to support land preservation such as the Paint for Preservation art auction at Cape Elizabeth and the Kelpie Gallery wet paint auction to benefit the Georges River Land Trust, in Rockland, Maine. Michael leads several plein air painting workshops in Maine and New Hampshire in watercolor and oil painting throughout the year. He also teaches plein air workshops for the Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership program through the Friends of Baxter and the Acadia Youth Conservation Corps of the Friends of Acadia. Michael is the first artist-in-residence at the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, a Monhegan Artists Residency Fellow, a Baxter State Park Artist-in-Residence, a two-time Acadia National Park artist-in-residence, and a two-time artist–in-residence at the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch, New Hampshire. His watercolors, oils, and pastels are in private collections throughout the country and internationally. In Maine, his works have been shown in various galleries and museums and he is represented at the Gleason Fine Art Gallery in Boothbay Harbor, the Frame and Art Gallery in Falmouth, and the Lupine Gallery on Monhegan Island, all these galleries in Maine.
Michael is intrigued with the timelessness in change in his figurative and landscape paintings. He believes that visual rightness is captured in his paintings when active humanity engages with the force of nature to become a metaphor for an even deeper truth. Michaels paintings show a love of color and light with emphasis on the expressive painterly mark and form, which evoke a recognizable feeling, a nostalgic memory, or emotional qualities such as the smell of salt and balsam in the air. In his oils, watercolors, and pastels he emboldens color by putting into practice traditional methods of the masters to cause the pigment to be brighter, richer, and more translucent. In his oils Michael considers himself to be a modern Impasto oil painter utilizing various different size palette knives and loaded brushes to achieve his thick expressive strokes of paint. Careful watchfulness and attention to understated detail, descriptive movement, purity of light, and the uniqueness of the atmosphere are all characteristics of his personality.