Michael Praed is one of the most well-known contemporary artists in this part of Cornwall. He is a prolific painter, working mainly in oils and pastel, drawing inspiration from the Cornish countryside and people. It has been said that his style is an intriguing and sometimes disturbing combination of realism and abstraction, portraying the beauty of the landscape and seascape with a sense of unease – almost with menace – in a way that no other artist has achieved; farmsteads huddle together against an unseen enemy in a landscape devoid of living things. Deserted breakwaters curve pincer-like into an empty sea; engine houses rise from the ground like megaliths, half as old as time.
Born in 1941 from a long line of Mousehole luggermen, Michael Praed was educated at Penzance and Falmouth School of Art followed by Brighton College of Art. He is a long time member of the Penwith Society of Art in Cornwall and has exhibited widely, retiring from teaching in 1993 to paint full time. His work ranges from large paintings of landscape and sea to smaller images depicting familiar friendly scenes of Cornishmen at work; from long lonely beaches to the bustle of a fish market, but always illustrating his observational and technical skills as both a painter and draughtsman to marvellous effect.