Part 3: A Slight Bump in the Road

One of my favorite pages and stories in the book

An Update from the Printer

I got news on Friday that the book shipment’s been delayed. It’s been delayed three or four times already, with no clear answers from the printer as to what the problem is. Until now, the reasons have been vague and shifting. Machinery breakdowns, loading problems, and trucking problems have all been mentioned. Now there’s apparently a book binding problem.

Do I believe that excuse? I have no way of knowing, but I’m deeply skeptical. The co-editor of my book, Chuck Weschler, and the rest of the folks at Sporting Classics (the publisher) are pretty upset and are asking that a few cartons of books be shipped directly to me ahead of the trucking company’s schedule.

What It Means for the Book Signing Event

We’re still planning to have the first book signing on October 8 here at Chisholm Valley Wildlife Art. And if I have to drive to Manitoba, where the printer’s located, to get the books ahead of time, I will. The signing event is still on track; this is just a heads-up on what’s going on. I’m posting a favorite page from the book so you can see what it’s like, but hopefully you’ll all have a copy in hand soon!


On a lighter note, yesterday was the first day of bow hunting here in Minnesota. I used my last package of venison last week. The freezer is empty now, and I intend to do something about that. Fingers crossed—stay tuned!

Part 2: The Contributors of My Book

Photo showing contributors to Michael Sieve: An Artist’s Life


If I would’ve done this book 15 years ago, or even 5 years ago, it would have looked very different than it does now. Perhaps the biggest difference would be in the writing. In the past, I would’ve had one professional author write the whole book—the way it’s usually done.


Instead, together with Chuck Wechsler from Sporting Classics, we agreed to have 6 contributing authors. Each one is a longtime friend or close relative of mine. And in many ways, each one is an expert on a small part of my life. The 6 authors and the chapters they wrote are as follows:

  • “Introduction” by Jeff Sieve—my older brother
  • “My Dad” by Heather Sieve—the older of my twin daughters
  • “A Signature Style” by Jim Rataczak—a fellow artist whose work I greatly admire and close friend of over 20 years
  • “The Spirit of Hunting” by Rick Grooms—a hunting partner, art collector, and friend for almost 40 years
  • “Partners in Photography” by Mark Newman—my worldwide travel partner, friend, and role model since the 1980s
  • “A Commitment to Conservation” by Scott Bestul—a professional outdoor writer, expert bowhunter, conservationist, and friend since he wrote one of his first articles about turkey hunting with me 30 years ago

Some of these contributors know each other; others have never met and probably never will. They know me very well, and I know them equally as well. Taken together, and including the dozens of stories that I personally wrote, their writings provide a pretty good idea of who I am, how I work, and what it takes to paint the way I do.

A Special Thank You

As a bonus, Heather has worked with me from the very beginning of the process. She first took on a very small role, but as we continued and she proved to be incredibly competent, her role expanded. Not only was she a co-editor with Chuck Wechsler, but she has been instrumental in the design of the book, the layout, and the many judgement calls that are necessary to get it right. And now she is helping promoting and marketing the book. This book would not be what it is without her. Heather’s influence starts on page 1 and doesn’t end until the book is closed, and I am deeply grateful for that.


It’s been a wonderful working and bonding experience with each contributor, and I only regret that I’m not starting over and doing it all again. I think when you get the book, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

Read more about the book or buy your own autographed copy.

Part 1: The Story Behind My New Book

Table of Contents in “Michael Sieve: An Artist’s Life”


I’d like to tell you a little bit about how my upcoming book, An Artist’s Life, came about. Chuck Wechsler, the editor of Sporting Classics magazine, approached me about 15 years ago and asked if I was ready to do a book. I said, “No, I’m too young and I have too many paintings I want to do yet.”

In 2019, he asked me again—and I was ready. We agreed to publish a book together through Sporting Classics in about a year. They publish a widely respected and high-quality magazine, but they also publish a lot of books on artists, hunting and fishing, history, and related subjects. We figured the book would be about 125 to 135 pages, and it would follow the general format that Sporting Classics had successfully used for many art books in the past. I could pick a writer from a list, many of whom I already knew, and we would get started.

Postponing Publication

And then Covid hit. When that happened, everything was put on hold and the whole project was indefinitely delayed.

For me, that was a blessing. It gave me time to think about the book, what I wanted to say and what it would look like. And it gave me time to get busy on a lot of paintings that had been on my bucket list for years. While I isolated for the next 2 years, I painted away.

Changing the Scope of the Book

I also took that time to talk to Chuck about what I thought might be a better way to do a book—my book anyway. Eventually Chuck agreed, or at least gave up trying to reason with me. But there was one big hitch. The price of publication, printing costs, paper cost and more were skyrocketing. We’ve all seen this in our lives, and it came very close to stopping the book in its tracks. About a year ago, we agreed on a way to keep the book moving forward—but under very different circumstances than when it started. I agreed to pay the lion’s share of the production costs. It was a slightly unusual arrangement, but I looked at it like a legacy project. I was happy to contribute in order to get a book that I could truly be proud of. I believe that’s the book we got—and I think you’ll agree when you see it.

In addition to the economics of the book dramatically changing, the scope of the book changed too. The book would no longer be written by a single author but would now contain 6 separate chapters. Each chapter would focus on a particular aspect of my life and would be written by personal friends or relatives who knew a great deal about those separate parts of my life.


Next week, I will share more about what the changes to the book look like, who the individual chapter authors are, and more. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, read more about the book itself or buy your own copy.

Mark Your Calendars: Book Signing in Early October

Cover page of “Michael Sieve: An Artist’s Life”

This fall, in collaboration with Sporting Classics, I’ll be publishing Michael Sieve: An Artist’s Life. This coffee table book features more than 280 images of my artwork from the past 50 years. Alongside the images will be firsthand accounts of the adventures and experiences that inspired many of my paintings. Each chapter of the book will be introduced by close friends or family and supported by personal photographs and anecdotes.

In the afternoon of October 8, I’ll be hosting a book signing at my gallery, Chisholm Valley Wildlife Art, located between Houston and Rushford, MN. Here are additional details:

  • When: Saturday, October 8 from 1 to 5 pm
  • Where: Chisholm Valley Wildlife Art (22388 Daley Creek Drive, Rushford, MN)
  • What: Signing and personalization of Michael Sieve: An Artist’s Life

I invite you to stop by, pick up an autographed copy of the book, and have it personalized if you’d like. I’ll have food, refreshments, and plenty of stories to tell.

I hope to see you then! If you have questions in the meantime, please email