Michael O’Toole was born in Vancouver in 1963, and grew up on the North Shore near the stunning Capilano Canyon. At the age of 10, Michael first recognised his curiosity for art and architecture, and he began developing his skills by watching and studying with his mother Nancy O’Toole, who was becoming a well-known artist at the time.
At 22, Michael moved to Toronto in the hopes of beginning a career as an architect. Working in many architectural firms, Michael found that the presentational side (architectural illustration) of the profession suited him best, and for two years Michael specialised in rendering all forms of architecture, developing his skills for capturing perspective and proportion.
Upon his return to Vancouver in 1987, Michael took a watercolour course with world-renowned artist Mike Svob and, to this day, Michael attributes his art profession to him. To watch Mike paint was to discover “Visual Literacy” for the very first time. By 1992, Michael was a full time artist, and in 2002 he was awarded Signature Status at the Federation of Canadian Artists.
Choosing landscape, seascape, marine, architectural and occasional figurative scenes for his paintings, Michael works in a variety of media including acrylic, watercolour, pen, ink, graphite and gauche. As well as Mike Svob, Michael credits Robert Genn, Harry Heine, Maynard Dixon, Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer and Richard Schmid, to name just to name a few who have inspired and influenced Michael’s unique, impressionistic style.
Michael is currently represented by several galleries across Canada, including one in Quebec. Literally thousands of his original paintings have sold to collectors over the world including the USA, Japan, Europe, Russia and Australia. His work has been featured in numerous publications including Arabella Magazine, Magazine D'art, International Artist and other forms of media as well. In 2013, Michael was awarded the People’s Choice Award in Arabella’s Canadian Landscape Awards – a contest open to all artists across North America.
Michael now resides in Lions Bay, B.C. He regularly leads painting workshops and demonstrations in Canada, the USA and in Europe.