Michael Albrechtsen specializes in painting highly realistic landscapes and figures in oils. While inspired by his travels, Michael enhances the drama of new people and places with a skillful handling of color and light. As a teacher, Michael encourages his students to paint what they see in the first six seconds. With one brief look, he finds the drama of a place is revealed. This initial reaction is what Michael tries to instill in each of his paintings; the experience of seeing the harmonious light, color, and composition of a scene for the first time. The result leaves his paintings with a vivid richness found not just in reality but in his emotional reactions to a scene. Growing up in Bountiful, Utah, Michael explored the rural landscape with his friends and family.He was encouraged by both his mother and grandmother to pursue his art rather than follow his family's tradition of mechanical engineering. It wasn't until participating in a Mormon missionary in Thailand with a sketch pad did he consider pursuing a career in art. Michael, still not sure of his career desires discussed his love of the arts with his wife, Lynda, who encouraged him to pursue his interest. Michael transferred to Utah State University at Logan to begin his dream of becoming a full-time artist. Michael was recruited by Hallmark after receiving his Master of Fine Arts Degree from Utah State University. During his college years, he took many courses in technical drafting where he worked on line drawings, shading, and three-dimensional renderings.With solid training in technical arts, Michael is able to render details with extreme accuracy in his work. Michael is fascinated by landscapes but also loves painting figures. While in school, Michael did a lot of figure work with models but now tries to paint his loved ones at least once a week. Michael finds working with figure studies and paintings of his family especially fulfilling.