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  • bio page description
  • art biography
  • music biography
  • recording arts biography
  • current resume
  • curriculum vitae

Bio Page Description

Here you will find general philosophies and compiled lists of credentials for myself, Michael Blessing
and Music-Art-&-Design.

The biographies are short linear paths. Some start from beginning seeds of an idea or initial active pursuits
that have lead to present day participation and current focused bodies of work.The over all purpose of this page
and the entire web site is to give anyone who is interested, a look at the cumulative body of my work within each
artistic endeavor I've chosen to pursue.

This web site, in and of itself, is another artistic quest. It's construction is meant to convey intent in bringing my
tool sets and skills together in one location, giving potential clients a look at the possibilities of finding creative
solutions to their creative projects and ideas.

Art Biography

I still don’t know what compelled me to sit down and randomly compose a still life one day in the
winter of 2002, but since that time I am increasingly amazed and entranced by the subtle communication
and interplay of brush strokes and knife marks on a canvas.

Up until that winter my professional focus had been in the music arts of performance, music recording and
composition for over 25 years professionally. Looking back I still shake my head as to why I began
drawing,having never given visual art a second thought let alone actually ever doing it outside of stick
figures in grade school and one college coarse years ago.

It’s been nine years now and my list of achievements and recognition are accumulating. I’ve been
doing commissioned portraits since 2004. Received my first gallery acceptance to Chaparral Fine Art in Bozeman
Montana in 2006 along with being published in four different publications. In 2007 I was accepted to
Art Encounter fine art gallery in Las Vegas Nevada and fall of 2008 I showed my work at INFUSION
gallery in the Emerson Cultural Center in Bozeman Montana. I currently show at The Artists' Gallery Bozeman
I am grateful for all this attention, appreciation and encouragement.

I want my work to speak for itself as I come with no axe to grind or agenda. I just love doing this.
The voice that spoke to me nine years ago is still compelling me to paint and for the work to be shared.
In doing so I can only hope that at the end of each day I have made a positive difference in our troubled
world. To view Michael's paintings and commissioned portraits, please click this link:

Music Biography

This biography is written as a supplement to the other biographies, resume and curriculum vitae
on this page. Specific dates and details are listed in the resume and curriculum vitae. So, not wanting
to be overly redundant in presenting my professional life and background, I am giving just a sketch here.

As best I can tell, I was hit by the music bug at age 4. It was an LP record of the Ventures my mother
was playing on the stereo. The sound felt like a dancing worm crawling under my skin, determined to jump
and run, to laugh and smile out loud. From that time to the present, this bug has been a driving force in my
life and work.

I wanted to play the drums in the 5th grade, but my family at the time was strapped financially. My
aunt had a clarinet I could learn to play, so that's what I did. I had a great time with the clarinet, but for
some reason, at age 13, it was no longer cool, so trombone was the way to go.

I continued to play the trombone well into my sophomore year in college. It was the opportunity to
play the drum kit in the pep band and stage band starting my sophomore year in high school that really
kicked things off. My cousin had a red sparkle finnish "Sears Maxitone" drum kit he was willing to sell
to me and that I did. I started playing professionally that same year with the "Lion's Club Band" in my
home town of Roundup Montana. In my senior year I joined another band called the "Country Traditions"
and played school room country dances and a few taverns around the area.

Went to music school in 1978 at Montana State University and graduated in 1983 with a BMA. I was
granted a graduate assistantship to Northern Colorado University in Greely Colorado in 1984, but declined
to go on the road with a touring cover band called "The Shades".

Did the road gig for 6 months and decided to give music up altogether and went back to school to get a
masters degree in computer science, all to get a real job. I lasted one year. I had to be involved with music
in come capacity, so I came up with the idea of a recording studio. It seemed a perfect way to make a living
and be involved in music at the same time.

From 1985 to 1990 I owned and operated my first recording studio. Business was far more challenging
than I had imagined. After working 20 hour days for just over 5 years I decided to get my masters then
doctorate degrees in music and end up teaching at the university level.

I applied to the University of Montana in Missoula and was granted a teaching assistantship in music and
technology.The year in computer science paid off. I studied for one year there, but moved back to Bozeman
Montana and started another recording studio called "The Garage". For the next thirteen years I worked
within this business and worked with some of the best musicians, in many capacities, within the state of
Montana and the Northwest.

In 2003, I discovered I had the ability to draw. It was this discovery that changed my work and life in
ways that I am still discovering and being challenged by to this day. I have been focusing on the visual arts
since that fateful day in January of 2002. However, music is still very much at the core of all my creative
efforts in performance, teaching, recording, painting, photography and web design. I continue to do all of
the above by keeping all creative balls in the air in order to live in the remote and beautiful place of Bozeman,

Click here on the "Music Page" to listen to music clips of my work and the collaborations with other
talented artists.

Recording Arts

This biography is written as a supplement to the other biographies, resume and curriculum vitae on this
page. Specific dates and details are listed in the resume and curriculum vitae. So, not wanting to be overly
redundant in presenting my professional life and background, I am giving just a sketch here.

Audio recording started with the desire to fuse music with technology as a way to make a living at the same
time. Computers and music merged in a huge way through the 1980's. I had just completed a year in computer
science in 1984, so I had a basic working knowledge of how these two art forms worked together. I wanted to
give it a go on my own, so I started my first recording studio in the alley behind what was Music Villa downtown Bozeman Montana.

It was a humble lean to shed that rumbled and shook each time the UPS or delivery trucks passed by. The shed
was literally one to two feet of clearance away from any passing vehicle in the alley. An inconvenience yes, but
workable in the learning and growing stages of recording arts. This first studio morphed into a production house for commercials and radio jingles with the help of Duke Breckhus.

Duke was a bass player and an original member of the Paradise Valley Band. He also was doing other
work in Great Falls producing video comercials for and ad agency there. That's how I got a start in commercial
audio production. It was this commercial work that was the bread and butter of the business then with an occasional record album or demo tape thrown in hear and there.

I started the business as a sole proprietorship, but took on a partner after 6 months and again another
partner two years later. It was too much for me alone. Between book keeping, production ideas and recording,
not to mention marketing. I was grateful for sharing the load and found the combined efforts from the three
of us, resulted in a much higher quality of product for clients.Through those years "Mastodon Productions" was
awarded 7 different 1st and 2nd place addy awards for commercials and psa's.

The first musician client I had the good fortune to work with was the up and coming songwriter "Kostas".
I recorded and did some performing for the first demo tapes Kostas's submitted to the Welk Publishing agency |
in Nashville Tennessee. This was 1985 and the very next year Kostas became the most sought after songwriter
in Nashville for the next 10 years. He went on to win quite a number of Grammy's and nominations. He was
awarded 1998 Song Writer of the Year.

In 1990, I felt the need to further my music studies and applied to the graduate program in music performance
and composition at the University of Montana. I was granted a teaching assistantship in music and technology. I completed one year and decided to start my second studio in the summer of 1991. This
studio was geared totally to the production of music for myself and other artists.

The Garage was a state of the art music production studio for the better part of 13 years. I had the good fortune
to work with some of the most accomplished musicians and song writers within the region. I also worked along side
the well know talents of Philip Aaberg, Cookie Marrenco, Charles Sawtell, Chris Cunningham, Kelly Roberti, Ann Tappan, MJ Williams, Craig Hall, Matthew and Michael Marsolek, Brian Kopper, John Floridis, Clay Green, Amy Martin and others in this time period. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have worked with these fine artists
and musicians. I've learned so much from each of these gifted folks.

During this period to the present I have and still work within capacities of producer, recording engineer, musician, composer-songwriter, mix and mastering engineer with the commitment to the art of music as being foremost.
Over 150 albums so far are the result of my contributions and participation on, not only other talented artists, but my own projects and solo work.

Click here on the "Music Page" to listen to music clips from the above artists. You will find a wide and varied spectrum of styles within this incredible pool of talented people along with their contact information.


Current Resume

Volunteer, Community, and Unpaid Work:

Donation of a Yamaha grand piano to JAZZ MONTANA for their annual fall concert. 1990-2000
Donation of Full CD Recording and production for Great Beginnings Montessori School Bozeman MT. 1999
Donation of portrait paintings to Learning Circle Montessori School Bozeman MT. 2004 - 2007
Donation of painting to Bridger Clinic silent auction. 2006
Donation of full CD recording and production for Learning Circle Montessori School Bozeman MT. 2007
Donation of painting for Bozeman’s down town recovery auction. 2009
Board of Directors JAZZ MONTANA. 2009-2010


BMA Montana State University 1983.
Graduate studies music and computer science Montana State University 1984 - 1985.
Graduate studies music composition and performance University of Montana 1990 - 1991
Awarded graduate teaching assistantship University of Montana 1990 - 1991
Search committee grad school 1990 - 1991
Worked as a private music teacher while attending under graduate and graduate school. 1978 -1983, 1990 - 1991
Worked in food service while in under grad school. 1978 - 1983
Working professional musician while in under grad and grad school. 1978 - 1983, 1984 - 1985, 1990 - 1991

Sales or Account Management:

Owned, operated and constructed Mastodon Productions 1985 - 1990 (commercial audio and video posting studio)
Owned, operated and constructed The Garage, (full production music recording studio) 1992 - 2003
Part time sales Music Villa 1984 - 1990
Part time sales Infusion Art Gallery 2008 - 2009
Brought in Major Artists and engineers for recording projects for The Garage.
Grammy Award winning record producer/engineer Cookie Marrenco.
Grammy Award winner, Charles Sawtell member of 1980’s blue grass group “Hot Rise”
Grammy Award winner and keyboardist for Peter Gabriel. Philip Aaberg.


Macintosh computer platform 1985-2009


Audio Applications: MOTU Digital Performer, Waves Audio Mastering Software, Apple Pro Logic 7, Toast and Jam.

Graphic Design and Photography:
Adobe Photoshop CS3, Adobe Dream Weaver CS3, Adobe Fireworks CS3,
Adobe Flash CS3, Adobe Illustrator CS3, Adobe Bridge CS3, Adobe InDesign CS3.

Word Processing:
Microsoft Word, iwork Pages.

Web design:

Mechanical Experience:

1960’s and 1970’s muscle car restoration. rebuilding V8 engines, light to mid size heavy equipment operation.
(back-hoe, front-end loader, farm equipment.)
Basic skills in arc and acetylene welding and cutting torch.


32 years professional musician.
28 years private music teacher.
25 years recording industry.
6 years as fine artist and portrait painter.
4 years as photographer and giclee printing
2 years as web designer.

Positive achievements and recommendations:

(4) 1st and (2) 2nd place Addy Awards (awards for excellence in media advertising) state of Montana 1986-89
Audio engineering and mixing credits along with musical performances on grammy nominated Montana Mandolin Society recording, “Song of the Sandhill”.


Portrait Society of America 2007-08, 2008-09
Board of Directors JAZZ MONTANA 2009
Published or Presented Work.

Recordings and Music CD’s:

Maia, A Dinosaur Grows Up (children's book on tape produced for The Museum of the Rockies) 1987
Over 75 commercials, PSA’s and soundtracks for radio and television. 1986-1990
Music composition/Audio engineering and production of audio for the state of Montana Tourism Industry,
which aired on the Discovery Channel 1988
Produced and recorded over 125 full length CD’s for artists and songwriters 1992-2009
Written, produced and engineered 11 full length CD’s as a solo artist and co-artist 1992-2009
Fine Art and Commissioned paintings.
Article in Bluegrass Review 1995
Article in Jazz Times 1997
Article in BigSky Magazine 2006
Article in Southwest Art Magazine 2006
Painting in Portrait Society of America Quarterly newsletter 2006
Las Vegas Living Magazine, September issue 2007
Bozeman Magazine, March issue 2009

Looking Ahead:

Looking back at the cumulative results from my experiences this past 30 years while working within each of
these creative mediums, I recognize that I’ve amassed a unique skill set. Unique in that these skills come
together and complement one another in ways that are especially adept in solving the creative challenges you
find in advertising and web design in particular. I believe my skills combined with my abilities to listen, learn
and work with others, come together in useful and productive ways for a potential client or employer.

Cirriculum Vitae

Recording Engineer / Producer / Recording Studio Owner 1984 - Present

Michael owned and operated two successful state of the art recording studios producing over 150 recorded
music albums, including the grammy-nominated Montana Mandolin Society 2004 recording. Michael’s
music sound tracks and recordings have been broadcast on the Discovery Channel, NPR, and all across the
state of Montana and the Northwest.  He has produced a number of children’s books on tape, and received
6 addy awards for radio and television production.  Professional Musician 1980 - Present
Professional Performing Musician 1976 - Present

Michael has performed and worked with some of the finest musicians in the Northwest, as well as with
nationallyknown artists. Credits include: Phil Aaberg, Cookie Marenco, Dave Gruisin, Mark Little,
Dartanyan Brown, Art Lande, Ann Tappan, Kelly Roberti, Bob Nell, Craig Hall, Chris Cunningham.
Private Music Teacher 1980 - Present

Michael has been a private music teacher for 28 years covering piano, percussion, theory and composition.

Recording Artist 1984 - 2004

Michael has six different solo and collaborative recorded CD’s to his credit and one solo album. All involve
performance, composition and arranging along with recording and production credits.

Professional Artist 2002  - Present


2003: Sweet Pea Arts Festival juried art show.
2003: The Leaf and Bean Bozeman Montana: One-person show
2003: Art Source Gallery juried show Boise, Idaho
2003: The Daily Coffee shop, Bozeman, Montana: One-person show
2004: The Art Show, Bozeman, Montana: One-person show
2005: The Garden Cafe, Manhattan, Montana: One-person show
2006: The Daily Coffee shop, Bozeman, Montana: One-person show
2006: Represented by Chaparral Fine Art Gallery, Bozeman, Montana
2006: Masters in Montana: Chaparral Fine Art Gallery, Bozeman, Montana
2006: Portrait Society of America, member 
2007: Represented by Art Encounter Gallery, Las Vegas, Nevada Clients of Commissioned Works
2008: Represented by INFUSION Gallery, Emerson Cultural Center, Bozeman, Montana
2004: Max and Ava 36” X 42” double oil portrait in the collection of Pamela Westphal
2004: Three Smiles 14” X 20” triple oil portrait in the collection of Karen and KC Walsh
2005: Nick and Joey 24” X 36” double oil portrait in the collection of Andrea and Mike Manship
2006: Sisters 24” X 26” double oil portrait in the collection of Mike Mortier
2006: Mathew 20” X 16” single oil portrait in the collection of Nancy Gary
2006: Three Buddies 14” X 24” triple oil portrait in the collection of Nancy Gary
2006: Jenny and Peugeot 32” X 26” double oil portrait in the collection of Owen and Sherrie
2007: Sargent Rock 30” X 20” single oil portrait in the collection of Fred Decker
2007: Laura 16” X 12” single oil portrait in the collection of Pine Creek Cafe
2008: Claire and Ursula 20” X 28” double oil portrait in the collection of Katy Brandis
2008: Story and Hayden 20” X 28” double oil portrait in the collection of Sandee and John Mills
2008: Shannon Gordon 48” X 32” single oil portrait in the collection of Shea and Shannon Gordon

2002  - Present Publications

2006: Big Sky Magazine, summer issue
2006: Southwest Art, November issue
2006: Member of Portrait Society of America
2007: Portrait Society of America, quarterly newsletter
2007: Las Vegas Living Magazine, September issue
2009: Bozeman Magazine, March issue
2009: American Art Collector Magazine, August issue
2009: Western Art Collector Magazine, August issue        

Photography 2002 - Present

2005: The Daily Coffee shop, Bozeman, Montana: One-person show
2006: Garden Cafe, Manhattan, Montana: One-person show

Web Design 2006 - Present


1983 BMA - music performance, MSU, Bozeman, Montana
1984-1985 graduate studies music composition, computer science, MSU, Bozeman, Montana
1990-1991: graduate assistantship music, U of M, Missoula Montana