Michie Long was born in McAlester, Oklahoma in 1939. His family soon moved to West Texas and lived in a series of very small towns... McAllen, Ozona, Sonora, and Pyote.
During World War II, they lived in a tent behind his father’s barber shop, just outside of Rattlesnake Bomber Base. His family finally settled in Monahans, Texas. Long started painting at the age of fourteen. He completed an undergraduate degree from North Texas State University and later graduated from The Carmel Art Institute.
In the beginning of his painting career, he supported himself by working in an icehouse, in the oil fields, in construction, as a gardener, and driving a truck selling cigarettes and candy. He then spent 10 years eye-matching colors for Kelly Moore Paints. He restricted himself to physically demanding work to save his mental energies for his true calling. He painted after work as many hours as he could, developing his unique style over decades.
Long grew up in Texas oil country... high desert, empty space as far as the eye can see, big sky, sparse vegetation, tumble weeds blowing in the wind, sandstorms, and occasionally a tornado. This terrain wraps around many of the figures in Long's paintings. In his personal mythology, however, the desert is populated with horses that await caresses from ladies in long gowns, as lions stand peacefully by. And Long’s desert magically shifts into forest, mountains, and a river he calls The Blue River. It is a mysterious terrain beckoning to be explored in the space beyond