September 28, 2023


Michael “M R” Carter is an award-winning American artist.

3 min read

Michael “M R” Carter is an award-winning American artist born in Los Angeles, California on December 2, 1953.  He currently lives in the Ozark mountain region of Southwest Missouri, a few miles from Branson, Missouri. At a young age, Michael’s interest and talents for art developed with his love of horses and the various Native American (Indian) tribes of people as well as the American Cowboy.  His mother encouraged his interest in art by supplying his endless need for pencil and paper.  His mother also introduced him to the music of singers Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers.  Even at the age of one or two years old Michael was developing his love and talents of “Western” Cowboy music and art.  By the time Michael was eight years old his skill as an artist was so advanced that he received an invitation from a prominent art academy to study and increase his artistic skills at their school. 

When Michael’s mother ignored the invitation from the academy, thinking it was possibly a prank, a spokesman from the academy called to encourage him to enroll.  They were surprised to find out he was only eight years old, saying his talent did not indicate his youth.  They assumed he was eighteen or nineteen years old and in college.   Regardless of the confusion of Michael’s young age, the academy insisted they still wanted the young artist to attend and study with their instructors.  The end result was, no matter how much the classes would have helped Michael’s abilities, the cost was more than his parents could afford, so the offer was rejected.

As the years progressed in Michael’s artistic evolution he had the good fortune to meet his heroes, Roy Rogers, and Dale Evans.  From this meeting, he developed a lasting friendship with Roy and Dale and as a result, Roy and Dale became fans of Michael’s art.  In 1986 Michael’s talent was awarded by having his pen and ink drawing “America’s Pride“  included within the halls of the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Victorville, California.  Within the following years, Michael would be rewarded by having two more pieces of his artwork included in the museum.  In 1993 “The Old Wrangler” and in 1997 “On Eagle’s Wing” was added to the museum.

Michael continued to draw and hone his skills as an artist.  He studied the art of the masters like Monet, Raphael, and De Vinci, however because of his love of horses and cowboys he began to observe and to study the art of an up-and-coming cowboy artist by the name of Olaf Wieghorst.  From that moment on to the present-day Michael primarily works in pencil, pen and ink, and watercolors.  His subject matter is the American cowboys, horses, wildlife, and the Native American peoples of North America.  When Michael was in his thirties he had the good fortune of meeting Olaf Wieghorst several times and talking with him.  Olaf’s advice to him was to create his art based on his knowledge of things that he knew and to never give up his dream.

Other than his love of cowboys, Michael has a special reason that attracts him to the various Native American peoples.  When he was a young child his Grandma Carter told him that one of his ancestors was an Indian.  A genealogical search revealed that among his English and Scottish ancestors the addition of a Native American bloodline called the Powhatan peoples of the Virginia Colony married into the Carter Family in the 1600s.

Michael’s present day’s goals are to have his artwork presented in a showcase at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and at the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, California.  Until these goals are achieved he is continuing to hone his craft to the best of his ability and to have fun while doing it.  In this way, Michael is preserving the history of the American West.

Thank you very much Michael MR Carter for sharing your story with us. Best Regards.

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