My Friend Mike, The Painter · 23 September 2012

painting by Michael Ruhland

We all have hobbies. Some of us like to write. Some like to knit. Others like photography. And there are many more endeavors that people would call hobbies. My friend Mike is passionate about painting, but it is more than just his hobby. Mike is a painter.

I am a painter too, but it is not my hobby of choice. I just paint the house or the furniture. I do have an easel, brushes, and paint, but after many years of having them around, I still have not used them. I have had lots of good intentions, but not enough action. Not so with my friend, Mike.

Mike has painted walls and fences too. Not with murals or anything fancy, just the color his wife picked out. But he is an actual painter. He used to come by my room after school every now and then to tell me he was going home to paint. Then, his afternoon painting became more frequent. Even before it became daily, I knew he was getting serious about his hobby.
Hobbies come in all shapes and sizes. But the thing that is the same for people with hobbies is their passion.

Mike is passionate about everything. He is passionate about his students and their learning. He is passionate about his family. He is passionate about his painting. He talks about these subjects all the time. I was excited for him when he first showed me his website (which is currently down for renovations). He had a few paintings on it and some commentary about at least some of the pieces. He was beaming as he showed me pictures of each piece.

I was amazed at Mike’s handiwork. He really is quite the artist. And he is humble about his pastime. So humble that he does not even think it amazing that his family and friends commission pieces. These patrons just bring him a picture or describe a scene and he paints for them. He is becoming quite the Picasso. I imagine one day he will be having his own show on the internet like the late Bob Ross (one of Mike’s heroes) had on PBS.

Mike is a painter. It is more than his hobby, it is his passion. Or at least one of them. I am proud to have him as a friend and colleague because he brings that passion to all his endeavors. One day, Mike will have originals and prints of his paintings in dens and living rooms of more than just his friends and family members. It will happen because like most people with hobbies, Mike does not just paint. He is passionate about painting. It is much more than just his hobby. My friend Mike is a painter.

[Note: Mike got his website up and running since the publishing of this piece. See more of his work at Michael Ruhland Paints]

painting by Michael Ruhland

© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi

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