Noting Michael's level-head and aptitude for math, Peter instead encouraged Michael to study business. Obliging his father’s advice, Michael attended Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, and continued his collegiate studies at Stanford. Upon attaining a degree in political science Michael traded city life for the vistas of the Hondo Valley in New Mexico. It was there, at his childhood home of San Patricio, where under the tutelage of his mother, Michael began honing his artistic abilities.
Over the years Michael would become proficient in oils, watercolors, and charcoal and today he continues to create works in a representational style, drawing inspiration from the unique New Mexican setting. Be it a portrait, landscape or urban design, Michael works from reality, and believes the actual subject must be experienced if it is to be accurately conveyed in a painting. This approach often means setting up an easel just off the side of the road in an effort to capture a fleeting moment.
Although the technique and subject matter of his artistic family is widely varied, Michael's artistic philosophy is his own: "I want to leave open ends, nuances, even ambiguities for the viewer to resolve. I have a conviction about the viewer being an integral part of the painting's working function and don't want to define meanings so tightly that they are inescapable."