Michael Maxwell was born in 1969 in Mobile, AL. He grew up all around the Southeast, with Jacksonville, Florida, Atlanta, and the Gulf Coast being the most influential settings of youth. Maxwell calculates that his family moved 11 times by the time he was 11 years old. His first pictures were a series of drawings of the dashboards of various family automobiles and U-Haul trucks.
"The constant moving as a child, the uprootedness of that, was a formative experience I think. It might have something to do with why I'm interested in the psychology of one's environment as a subject for painting."
By the mid-Eighties his family had settled in the Delta region of Mississippi. It was there that he became acquainted with plein air artists who painted directly from the abundant natural landscapes of the region. He eventually enrolled as an art major at Delta State University, receiving his BFA in painting in 1998. His current subjects of interest are industrial and suburban landscapes that reflect back on midcentury American prosperity.
Maxwell currently resides in north Mississippi.