Born in 1969, Michael Ashcroft grew up in Croston in the heart of Lancashire. After leaving school in 1985 he began his career as an engineer, painting and sketching only in his spare time. In 1998 he had a major operation to remove a brain tumour and decided to paint more seriously. He returned to college and completed numerous classes including an A-Level in Fine Art. His paintings have evolved over the years from early abstracts in acrylics to using oils in more representational works painted on location. The foundations that underpin his paintings haven't changed, and that is, his fascination with light and dark and his love for the city and the landscape. Michael is a member of The Royal Institute of Oil Painters and Manchester Academy of Fine Arts. He has exhibited with the Royal Society of British Artists, The Howard De Walden Exhibition and The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London. David Lee (Art Critic) says of Michael: "There are no secrets in what he does. Being open and honest he tells you directly through his pictures where his interests lie. We don't have to be told by experts the meaning of his work because they are self-evident - we can see them for ourselves. In his landscapes as well as his views of the city, he willingly lays bare his pleasures and beliefs. You can't ask more of any artist than this. He is a worthy heir of those in the great tradition of Lancashire painters".