In the early 1980's Wintermantel traveled the Northeast extensively with Professor Young. There they traced the footsteps of several of the well known Hudson River School artists. From the many plein air sketches done in the field on those excursions, large canvases were painted. It was in those years that Wintermantel learned many of the skills he uses today to produce luminous landscape paintings of the beautiful vistas throughout the United States.
By the late 80's the art world was in tumult. Representational art was not getting the attention many artists believed it was due. Discouraged, Wintermantel decided to put the paints away to focus on playing jazz bass in a few traveling big bands. Shortly after that stint he joined his brothers in a screenprinting business venture. It was there that he learned to design and illustrate using a computer. As the printing business flourished he met his wife Cheryl and they made a family together with their son Sam. In 2000 his daughter Aline was born and Cheryl went back to school to finishing her nursing degree. Mikel filled some of his free time at home with the children by picking up the brush again. This is where he discovered a new way to paint using modern, less noxious mediums. Employing an indirect, layered method, Wintermantel produced glowing, luminous landscapes that began to garner attention from collectors and critics alike.
In the fall of 2002 Mikel Wintermantel was accepted into the Copley Society of Art in Boston, MA. It was there that he began an expeditious rise in the art world. Upon his first visit to a Member's show, The director of the Copley informed him that there was a firestorm of interest in his work and things were going to happen quickly for him. It did. In short order, he became a best selling artist at the Copley and at several galleries in the New England region. His work found its way into numerous important collections worldwide.
The awards followed at a pace matching the meteoric output of work. Notably among them was the Bryan Family Foundation Award, the Alden Bryan Memorial Award for Landscapes, The NSPCA award for Casein at the Salmagundi Club, The John Singleton Copley Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement and the Copley Master Signature Designation in 2006. Numerous magazine articles followed along with several successful solo shows in Boston and vicinity, Maine, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, California and New York.
Mikel Wintermantel is noted for his colorful, luminous American landscapes, many of which are painted on copper metal and stainless steel and framed in his own designs crafted from local hardwoods, hand leafed and finished. Today Mikel's children carry on the family tradition of music and art, making their own waves in the world, much to his delight.