Scottsdale, AZ
Jackson, WY

Michael Dumas

A wildlife painter whose work often has sparrows, Michael Dumas reflects his love of the outdoors linked to his childhood in Canada.  He was born in Quebec at a Red Cross outpost medical center 200 miles north of Toronto on the edge of Algonquin Park, and attended a small local school.  From childhood, he was interested in drawing and painting, encouraged by an aunt who lived near his family.

By the time he was in high school, he was determined to be an artist, but no art classes were offered at his school.  So he took a correspondence course from Art Instruction Schools in Minnepolis, something his parents agreed to finance.  After completion of the course as well as highschool, he enrolled at Humber College in Toronto during 1969 and 1970.  However, he was discouraged by the art classes because in his view they were ‘anti art’—minimalism and abstraction— and he switched to graphic design to develop drawing and illustration skills.

But a good influence for him at Humber College was meeting Lewis Parker, who was teaching there part time and who as “one of Canada’s foremost painters of historical scenes”(30) gave him strong encouragement and expressed much admiration for his skills.  Dumas became Parker’s apprentice in Parker’s downtown Toronto studio.  Of this experience, Dumas said:  “I learned more in those nine months than during any period in my painting life.” (31)

Dumas began working as a full time artist in 1975, at the age of 24. He enjoyed financial success in the burgeoning art reproduction market of the 1980’s, but his focus has always been on the market for his originals, and though a large body of his work features endangered species, a great deal of his subject matter is outside of the field of wildlife.

Since achieving much recognition for his paintings, he has done much effective work for wildlife conservation and is credited with raising more than five-million dollars.  His efforts include raising money from the Japanese royal family and working with Paleo-anthropologist Richard Leakey in Kenya.  In tandem with his painting schedule, Michael Dumas spends much time on the lecture circuit for conservation, and this devotion has led him to discontinue giving art workshops.

Additional Artwork