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Michael's first Drawing was done in October at the age of six: While visiting relatives in Montana. Michael spotted a paper skeleton hanging from the second story apartment. Using a pencil and paper he drew it in complete detail, because the drawing was so accurate he was accused of tracing it and he was vindicated when a witness confirmed that he had indeed drawn the picture freehand.

Michael was born in Perham, Minnesota, September 23rd 1959. The Pickett's lived out by the Iron Range until he was three years old, at which time the family relocated to Oregon.
When Michael was in Grade School he drove his teachers crazy. He would always draw in class, doodle on his homework and make fun of his grades by turning them into cartoons.

When Michael's 5th grade teacher Mr. Town introduced finger painting in his classes everyone received finger-paints, papers and lots of paint. The painting that Michael painted was quit interesting but not as interesting as what he did to the class that morning. Michael got some paint on his face, so, he thought everyone else would look good with paint on his or her faces as well. WHAT A MESS!


Michael had a rough time in school and he had always struggled with learning to read. The teachers told his parents that Michael was lazy minded. It was discovered later on that he had Dyslexia.



In the fall of 1969 at the age of ten: Michael entered a competition for a health fair poster contest and won first out of all the other entries. That Christmas Michael's Mom and Dad bought him his first oil paint-set and canvas.

In the fall of 1969 at the age of ten: Michael entered a competition for a health fair poster contest and won first out of all the other entries. That Christmas Michael's Mom and Dad bought him his first oil paint-set and canvas.



Bimbo, the family dog was Michael's first living model. He would sit vary still while Michael sketched his portrait on paper.



From 1969 through 1972, Michael had created a lot of oil paintings in which decorated the wall of many of his family and friends.

When Michael was 13 he was elected cartoonist for his schools newspaper for which he received formal recognition.


In 1975 Michael painted a surreal landscape to be sent to Minnesota.

Michael was very busy producing a lot of paintings; he entered his works in the fair and every contest that he could.

Artist Michael J Pickett
Perception of a
Color-Blind Dyslexic Artist
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What is it like to be a color-blind artist?

Totally or partially unable to distinguish between certain colors.

"As a color-blind artist I have taught myself how to decipher optical illusions. Some people ask me; How do you know which color is which? Well, thatís simple, I just read the tubes of paint to see what color it is, then I keep it separated on my pallet. Heaven forbid that I get them mixed up, because then, I wouldn't know which color was which."
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Painting of a German Shepherd
On a motor home wheel cover.

One time, Michael was commissioned to do a portrait of a German Shepherd on a motor home wheel cover. He usually uses ultramarine blue and burnt umber to create black and when he ran out of ultramarine blue he used another blue with a different hue. When it was finished he showed it to a friend and to their amazement asked, "why did you paint it green?" Oops! Michael went to the art supply store and bought a tube of black paint and redid it. It turned out perfectly, the customer picked it up and thought it was the greatest painting they ever saw. It was never mentioned that it was green.
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What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a subtle physical deficiency in which the brain has difficulty storing and retrieving linguistic information.

" Its like living in the twilight zone. I feel like I'm in a constant altered mental state, like living in a fog, an air head so to speak."

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Michael taught art classes at the Umpqua Valley Arts Association in Roseburg, Oregon. He devised his own teaching method, THE BASIC THREE TECHNIQUES. Michael created this system many years ago to decipher the optical illusions of dyslexia that trick the mind. On Monday, March 16th 1992 the News Review had written a half page article about Michael's unique teaching methods. Michael J Lessner took the photo and Reporter Linda Schnell wrote the story.
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