Michael Waterman was born in 1947 in Portland, Maine. At age four, he began painting and drawing at his father's painting studio. He had participated in many solo and group exhibits, won a number of awards and even completed his first commission (a 75 foot mural) before he finished high school in 1965. He was then awarded a scholarship to attend the Pratt Institute in New York City for the summer session of 1965. Thereafter, having taken First Prize in the Scholastic Magazine National Art Competition, Waterman was awarded another scholarship to the Art Students League, also in New York City.
After returning home to Portland, Maine, this critically acclaimed Maine artist has had more than 3 decades of exhibitions, solo shows, television and radio interviews and commissions. His exhibitions included a 1988 retrospective at the University of Southern Maine which inspired art critic Edgar Allen Beem to observe that Waterman "possesses an authentic vision of Portland such as no other artist in the area quite manages."