In Michael McWillie’s paintings and prints, a whimsical spirit is joined with a sharp visual style. Calling himself the founder of the “Canine Neo-Surrealist Movement,” McWillie portrays some famous dogs in a few works, such as Barney and Miss Beasley, two Scottish Terriers owned by former President George W. Bush, who once hung a few of the artist’s pictures in the White House. Elephants and armadillos also appear in McWillie's works, depicted with a charming playfulness. The strong sense of rhythm and movement in each piece reflects his ability to make the viewer feel the movements of his animals and the presence of musical notes and instruments.
Making monotypes and painting in acrylics, McWillie employs many techniques. His lines range from thin and precise to wide and blurry. He places his subjects before an equally broad variety of textures, from washes of color interrupted by drips, to densely patterned backgrounds. “My paintings and prints are intended to take the viewer to a place of innocence, wonder and awe,” he says, “while exploring the mysteries of composition, texture and color.”