Born in Boston, Michael B. Karas’ artistic talent was recognized at an early age by his educators who further encouraged him to pursue his love of painting. In 1975, he graduated from the New England School of Art and Design and immediately began painting professionally. Living and painting in Gloucester, Massachusetts until 1984, Karas and his wife, Fern, then left Cape Ann, and traveled extensively for over two years painting the wilds of America. Upon their return they settled in Maine, where together they purchased and lovingly restored a two hundred-year-old-farmhouse-overlooking Penobscot Bay. The attached barn became a studio, and for the next eighteen years Karas painted the coast of Maine. His bold, powerful oil paintings have been compared to the likes of Winslow Homer and Frederick Waugh. Rich in color and sensitivity, his marine paintings masterfully express the ever-changing sea. Since 1994, Karas has traveled twice a year to the Lowcountry of South Carolina to paint. He found the soft mud flats and sweeping marshes a stimulating contrast to the hard, rocky coast of New England.
It was during these visits, Karas fell deeply in love with the Lowcountry. He desired to capture the moods of the marsh on a year round basis, to observe the light, seasonal changes and soft dusty colors of moss draped live oak trees. He wanted to know the Lowcountry marshlands as intimately as he had come to know the New England seashore. In the summer of 2004, Michael and Fern said goodbye to Maine and moved to a private sea island in the South Carolina Lowcountry. A new studio has been created that looks out on a tidal creek. The surrounding view of the marsh, majestic live oaks, Spanish moss, palms, palmettos and abundance of bird and wildlife, are the perfect setting to inspire and create his newest works of art.
Karas has been painting professionally for over thirty years and has had twenty-eight one-man shows. He has been a member of the Rockport Art Association for twenty-seven years. An elected Fellow of the American Society of Marine Artists, he constantly strives for excellence in painting.