Summer Bike Ride

Okay, I’m ready for spring, even if there still is snow on the ground in patches outside. So, I decided to paint a picture based on a photo of two friends that I took last summer, just to remind me that yes, warm weather will come back some day.

Summer Bike Ride" is an original oil painting of two friends biking over a wooden bridge by Yeshua's Child Art

“Summer Bike Ride” oils 16 X 20

I like pictures that tell a story, and this one does; I also like to play with painting light as it hits different surfaces.

Barns of Michigan: Old Gray Barn

I love to paint old barns. They have so much character. The older, the better. I am starting a “Barns of Michigan” series of paintings, and this is # 3 in the series, an old gray barn in the upper peninsula.

an oil painting of an old gray barn in Michigan's upper peninsula

Barns of Michigan: Old Gray Barn, oil 16 X 20 inches

The palette for this painting was ultramarine and cobalt blue, titanium white, lamp black, sap green, burnt sienna, yellow ochre, cad. yellow med., cad yellow light, cad red light. I really liked the gray light of the hazy day, and tried to emphasize this in the painting.

Photo reference for the barn was a photo by Kathy Gaspar, used with her permission.

Got Juried In at Kalamazoo Nature Center!

I’m excited; I just found out today that I got juried in to exhibit at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, which shows some wonderful art by local artists. Their head curator sent a very nice letter, letting me know she will be contacting me soon to make arrangements for an exhibit.

So, time to get the paintings all ready; and to go pick up a few of my bird paintings from some places they are being kept at.

Hopefully, by this summer, any of you that live in Michigan can go and see some of my art on display there.

What Michigan Artists Do in the Winter: Part Two

A few weeks ago, I posted about what Michigan artists do during the long cold winter, when temperatures are subzero (24 degrees below zero two days ago, in fact), when cars without heaters for the engine block won’t start and the snow looks like powdered sugar on top of the pines and oaks.

We get ready for art fairs and apply to galleries. I am applying to two this summer, and both required going to ZAPP (an online artist application site) and providing a photo of my display booth. The only problem: I didn’t have a display booth.

So, I called to find out what to do. The really nice gal who answered said, “Well, you get a tent and set it up with your display.” I then asked the logical question: “in MICHIGAN? In WINTER? How?” I then was told to set it up inside. Oh. My formerly Texas brain didn’t make that leap in logic; tents are only outdoors down there.

So, I got a tent (with side panels, even). A very nice friend helped me build a fold-out display board. I put up the tent, inside a friend’s warehouse. And grabbed some of my pictures that aren’t in galleries and some cards, to make my display. Below is my “booth shot”:

a photograph of my art fair booth

My art booth

I didn’t put up the sides, but will during the art shows; but at least the display panel held my paintings, and the table held the cards. Now, the wait, to see if I get juried in.

So, what do Michigan artists do during the winter? We apply to art fairs, and shovel lots and lots and lots of snow!

What Michigan Artists Do in the Winter

Winter is full-blown here in western Michigan. And during this season when it’s harder to get out, many Michigan artists turn their hands to tasks such as:

Watching the snow build up outside. It is gorgeous, in spite of the cold.

Michigan yard covered with snow

front yard covered with snow

It is also fun to catch the woodpeckers eating the suet outside:

woodpecker eating suet during Michigan winter

woodpecker eating suet

Also, us artists who are also bird watchers fix up feeders our friends give us; this one had metal (which can cause the little toes to get frostbite) so I coated the perches with many coats of acrylic and let them dry, to make a plastic perch

bird feeder with perches coated with plastic

plastic coating for the perches

And, of course, enjoying the blue jay display outside in the bush:

Blue jay in a bush during Michigan winter

Blue jay in bush

I am also learning to cross-country ski (hey, all this snow has to be good for fun, too!)

It is also a time to apply to art fairs, which I am currently working at. Problem is, I left my (huge, bulky) booth in Texas when I moved here last year. So, I have to get a new tent, make a display, take a booth photo, and send it off, since most of the summer shows in Michigan want you to apply EARLY (as in during the long, cold winter months). It gives me something to look forward to, as I dream of warm June and July days.

Oh, yes, I’m still painting, too; I’ll share a painting in a few days that I’m working on! In the meantime, stay warm and enjoy the snow, if you’re from up north!

Moose: Another Christmas Painting

In my last post, I mentioned that my other good friend wanted a painting of a moose. Why? Because her house is literally FILLED with moose things: moose towels, cups, figurines, coasters, etc., she is just nuts about them. So, when I gave her a gift certificate for a painting, she said, “A moose! That’s what I want!”  Okay, I have never painted a moose before. I have no photos that I have taken of a moose myself, because…I have yet to see one here in the woods where I live. So, I went back to WetCanvas, and found a great reference photo by StalkingtheDawn there, and used it, with a photo I have of the woods here as background.

Here’s how it looks:

Oil painting of a moose in the woods, based upon a reference photo by stalksthedawn on WetCanvas

Painting of a moose, oils, 16 X 20

So,  photo reference is stalkingthedawn on Wet Canvas (for the moose), and my own back yard (photo shown below) for the background. This is the nice part of living in the woods: lots of trees, etc.

photo of woods in Michigan

picture of the woods in my back yard

Okay, after this I will go back to painting from my own photos, or life (I’m actually painting a bouquet of flowers from life, when it’s more done I’ll share it here). Plus, my own bird and barn pics, from my own photos. But it was fun trying to figure out how to paint these beautiful animals.

Excited: Art Will Be in Another Gallery

I’m excited; I took some of my art and cards to the NCCA-Artsplace Gallery in Fremont,, Michigan yesterday, and they accepted several of my bird paintings, two landscapes, and my gift cards – she even wanted more of the new designs! (I need to get new frames for two of my other bird paintings, and then they can join the others).

The Art Director, Lindsey, was very gracious and helpful. She offered some suggestions to improve two of my landscapes. Of course, I looked around the gallery for awhile; the textiles there are absolutely gorgeous, and the other art was amazing.

I am very happy to have my art hanging in a gallery of this quality over the holidays. Yay!