Mike Danneman has had a lifelong interest in trains. His dad nurtured the interest in railroading, while his mom showed him how much fun art can be. Growing up with these influences definitely had something to do with painting trains when he got older.
He began his career at Kalmbach Publishing Co. in the art department in 1984. He was named TRAINS magazine's Assistant Art Director in 1988 and Art Director in 1990. Mike is currently painting full time, and freelancing railroad photography. He also keeps busy writing railroad and model railroad related articles and books.
Traveling is a big part of Mike's life. He has traveled extensively around the United States and Canada in pursuit of railroad photos. Many of these photos later become sources for inspiration when seated in front of the easel. Getting out and actually seeing the railroad, or at least seeing the country it used to run through, is very useful for the painting's accuracy and detail.
In addition to model railroading, other interests include caring for and riding his horse, Hoss, getting out on the hiking trails with the three dogs and his wife, and enjoying the natural beauty of Colorado in general.
Mike and his wife Katie, another artist, live in Arvada, Colorado.