Welcome to the memorial page for

Michael Joseph McMahon

September 22, 1956 ~ November 23, 2017 (age 61)

Of Youngstown, NY passed away from a lengthy illness on Wednesday, November 23, 2017. He was born in Atlanta, GA on September 22, 1956, the son of the late Joseph Gerald and Ann Elizabeth [Popeney] McMahon.

Michael taught watercolor painting in Lewiston and in Ontario, Canada. His works have been exhibited locally at the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo and in the Kenan Center in Lockport, New York and other galleries throughout Western New York and Ontario. He participated and won competitions for over 40 years in many Western New York art festivals. He started showing his work and competing when he was a teenager in the Lewiston Art Festival with pen and ink drawings with watercolor washes.

He won the Allentown Art Festival Purchase Award and presented his work and competed at the East Aurora Art Festival, the Clothesline Art Festival, The Riverwalk Art Show and the Quaker Art Show where he won Best in Show and the Louis Fasola Watercolor award many times. He was known for his paintings of majestic lake freighters, rural settings and sailboat paintings as well as floral still life paintings. He was a gifted teacher willing to share his knowledge and watercolor supplies will all who wanted to learn his craft. His lessons were filled with instruction and stories of his art show exploits.

He enjoyed working with children and taught watercolor for a number of years for the Lewiston Recreation Program. Donations to the Lewiston Council on the Arts and Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society. Mr. McMahon graduated Lew-Port High School and attended the Ontario School of Art. Michael was an award winning watercolor artist and teacher. He was a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists and Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society.

Michael is survived by his significant other Cheryl A. Ferguson, sister Joanne F. Baxter, nieces Kathryn R. Baxter and Hannah E. Baxter and several cousins.

Contributions to Lewiston Recreational Program Red Brick School House Art Program and Lewiston Porter School Art Department

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at St. Bernard's Church in Youngstown, NY at 10:00 AM.

Michael J. McMahon My artwork is transparent watercolor. Although I primarily paint realistic watercolor, I see no conflict between realism and abstraction – one or the other is not bad or more important. In my formal art education at Niagara Community College, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Ontario College of Art I studied drawing, illustration, the proper use of brushes, color and good design. I learned the fundamentals that go into making a good painting. As a medium, Watercolor was not taught in any of the schools I attended. I learned transparent watercolor though trial and error and through classes with great local artists who have taken the time to share their knowledge. Drawing is the framework of my art, the skeleton of the painting – it is the glue that holds the design together. There is no shortcut to good drawing, it takes study and practice. The selection of the subject is important and making studies of the subject – exploring it and trying out ideas for larger work is a significant part of my process. I usually do the same painting many times, from different angles and with different colors. My subject matter is primarily of rural and urban landscapes, seascapes and florals. When I am working in my studio I always have music playing in the background – music helps me set the mood for a painting – it too is part of my process. I have been influenced by some remarkable local artists including Eleanor Vaughn, Darrell Cattarin, Betty St. Denny, Jan Clayton, Dan Loge, Bill Gates, Joe Whalen and Margaret Martin. They have helped me move beyond trial and error and made it possible for me to approach watercolor painting with confidence and excitement. I am a better teacher because of their kind and gentle guidance. 




 Service Information

Mass of Christian Burial
December 16, 2017

10:00 AM
St. Bernards Catholic Church
218 Hinman St
Youngstown, NY 14174

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