(From an article featured in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Art of the West Magazine, written by Mary Nelson)
In 1994, Mike Malm was newly married, going to school, and working in construction.
The 21-year-old was studying art with Del Parson at Dixie State College in Utah, absorbing from him the fundamentals of drawing, the foundation for what would become his life’s work.
Malm’s ability at capturing the essence of his subject quickly brought the young artist commissions to paint portraits of people’s children, their pets, and relatives. It didn’t take the Utah native long to realize that he could make more money—and derive more enjoyment—from painting portraits than working construction. Being an astute young man and passionate about art, he put down his tool belt, left the job site, and strode into his dream career as an artist.
Malm could walk away from manual labor because, he says, “Juanita and I were young, and we hadn’t yet set a precedent about how much money we needed to make.” So, he painted portraits and continued to study art, while living in one of the most scenic areas of the country: the Cache Valley in Utah.
The pristine environment, with its plethora of eye-catching scenery, ripe for painting, excited his artistic sensibilities with its simplicity and grandeur.