Saturday, October 17, 2009

Greenfield Village Dinner and Halloween Walk

Friday night I went with family and friends to Greenfield Village in Dearborn to take part in the 19th century autumnal festivities and good old fashioned family fun. We ate at the Eagle Tavern which was filled with old fashioned violin players, storytelling and harvest games.
For dinner we were served:

Cheese and Dry Cured Sausage
Bread Bowl
Apple Butter
Whipped Creamery
Apple Cider Squash Chutney
Midnight Cake with Vanilla Sauce
Roasted Quail with Apples and Greens
Stuffed Pumpkin
Sage Pork Sausage with Onion Gravy
Beefsteak Pie
Corn Relish
Walnut Ketchup

Following the sumptuous candle-lit harvest supper we made our way into the moonlight to follow the enchanted pumpkin path to take in the sights and sounds of Halloween throughout the Village. Many of the historical buildings were made into spooky scarry fun. The bridge was filled with smoke that appeared to be going into a tunnel as you were walking. Scarry noises filled the air. The mysterious woman on the balcony has been a favorite conversation piece for us for a few years now.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Going Back in Time....

Yesterday I went back in time to a period where life was simpler in some ways yet exhausting in others. The Woldumar Nature Center hosted an American Heritage Festival that was both enlightning and entertaining. People in the history of early America worked hard and depended on mother nature to provide favorable weather for the crops that fueled their very existence. It was a time where one had to work together with others and lend help to survive the trials of the times. For relaxation, the people practiced thier artistry, making elaborate designs from everything - wheat, hair, metal, wood, cloth. The designs and imagination of the time excited the artist in me!

The river boat ride on the Grand River was so relaxing and peaceful. The day was cloudy and misty at times, but the the colors on the river were just starting to show their grandeur. It was an hour long ride that included passing by the old Oldsmobile Estate. The gray herons, ducks and swans were leisurely paddling along, feasting along the way.

I made my first wheat arrangement with the help of demonstrator JoAnne Arasin, Director at the Michigan Historical Museum. The museum is also the place where I won 2nd place at an art show with my piece, Twilight Gathering.
I also just had to post this adorable bunny what was as soft as cashmere. I couldn’t believe the softness of the fur. I found him and his handler on the trails on break. He was so excited with the woods.

I wanted to mention some of the demonstrators that I enjoyed viewing: Karla – Antique Hair Brading, Kathy – Basket Making and Dried Flowers, Paul – Blacksmithing, Anson – Cast Iron Cooking, JoAnne – Wheat Weaving, Kelvin – Raven Farm Portable Saw Mill, Greater Lansing Wood Carvers, Lansing Model Railroad Club and the list goes on.

A wonderful relaxing time and many resource photos to keep me warmed up in my painting projects for the winter!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Victorian Elegance

Saturday I went to the Northville's 20th Annual Victorian Art Festival. Some of my artist friends were there painting a model in Victorian dress at the Art House - Robert Perrish, Mary Step, Barbara Eko Murphy, Daria among others. After taking pictures of the model and chatting with everyone, I headed for town. Artists were painting there too, where many men and women were walking the town in period dress. Model A's and Model T's were on display. And a favorite of mine was a man on an old tyme bicycle that had a huge wheel in the front.

I took a ton of pictures, had a nice salad at Poole's and then headed off to the Lake Erie Metropark to take pictures of the birds of prey at the Hawk Festival.
And, as if that wasn't enough, I was only a stone's throw from Crafts 2000 in Monroe, my favorite deep discount store to purchase name brand artist grade paints and brushes.
It was a gorgeous fall day, sunny in the 70's. I covered alot of territory and enjoyed immensely! I hope to get some of my ideas from my photos onto canvas this winter.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Plein Air Paintout with a twist

Yesterday, I was at a Plein Air Paint Out with the Ann Arbor Women Artists at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The day was pleasantly warm with sun and clouds and the gardens were in full swing. I spied some black eyed susans in an area with a variety of greens. I wanted to paint the black eyed susans in the sea of greens with only 3 colors plus white. I have heard that a more harmonious painting comes about with this method so I decided to give it a go. I used Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Red Medium and Ultramarine blue.

Needless to say, the painting was not up to my expectations. More exploration with the colors and prior strategy needs to be played out. I found it to be a good way to think outside the box as you really need to brainstorm where you want to go with limited options.

I think I will do a color wheel with the colors and also do a complimentary chart to see how the grays play out. This will help me to see the range that I have ahead of time, thus eliminating the floundering effect.

Matthaei Botanical Gardens has beautiful gardens with a wide variety of flowers, a sitting arbor and several trails into the wooded area with marsh ponds. My favorite spot to draw or do a watercolor in the winter on a sunny day is the conservatory (greenhouse). It is huge and is filled with plants starting with tropical and ending with arid cactus. It is warm, lush and inviting on a cold winter day.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

You find collectors in unusual places...

The Kensington reinactment and encampment was such a fun gathering. Everyone was extremely authentic and informative, from the Native American Indians to the Colonial Women who followed the soldiers. The tents, the primitive utensils, the camp fires, and the yummy way they preserved the food was all a real treat. I could feel the hardship of the times doing everything from scratch.

It was soooo hot. I sat in the shade to do some sketching for some future painting ideas and drew some collectors. Both of my sketches were sold to people enjoying the encampment. I received many positive comments, passed out my business cards and educated the interested parties on what my process and thoughts were in creating my sketches. Maybe this added to their desire to acquire them.... a momento of their visit.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Colonial Kensington 1700's Encampment and Reinactment

I will be doing photography and painting at Kensington today, making sure to enjoy the following event:

Saturday, August 15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, August 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kensington Metropark - American re-enactors will provide entertainment, battle and tactical demonstrations and a variety of 18th century crafts and demonstrations. More than 200 costumed American Indian, French, British and American re-enactors representing the years 1700-1796.

For more information, contact Kensington Metropark 1-800-477-3178 or 248-685-1561.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Facebook and Twitter Seminar with Dee Overly

Dee Overly has done it again.... amazing me with her in depth teachings on Facebook and Twitter. If anyone can delve into the depths and hidden treasures of something, she can!

Again, I came away from her seminar with a wealth of marketing information for my art business - Earthy Visions LLC.

I started right away honing in my accounts that I had just started prior to the workshop. You can see my Facebook and my Twitter pages by clicking these links. She makes traveling the internet a piece of cake. My earlier seminar with her was all about websites and it also was over the top.

I feel it is very important to keep yourself up to date on the internet wheels, not only to gain marketing exposure to sell your art but to deviate from the often lonely journey in creating your art, to gaining friendships and support to enhance your art travels.

She is having a repeat of this workshop on August 8th at the Riverside Art Center in Ypsilanti. You can get more information here: Facebook and Artists and at DeeOverly's website.

Upcoming: she will be giving a seminar artist websites. Plan to attend all of her workshops. She is an excellent instructor with affordable seminar fees.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Painting Paradise Holiday

Diane Rath invited me to participate in a Painting Paradise Holiday from Sunday thru Thursday on Mackinac Island. Several artists were painting the island with a frenzy. I had a wonderful time painting and exploring the island. I rode my bike and hiked all over to try to see it all.

I sold two plein air paintings, a 6 x 8 and and 8 x 10 to a newlywed couple. I met with a gallery owner to discuss my future participation in the gallery and I met several wonderful people that gave complementary comments on my paintings while I was painting.

On Thursday, I left Mackinac Island to travel up to Tahquamenon Falls in the UP. I marveled at the energy created by the huge falls and wanted to capture the wonderful ice tea colored water on canvas. I was completing a study on a 6 x 8 when a couple from England came by asking if my little painting would be for sale. Of course I sold it to them, giving them a box to keep it flat until it dried. Time was running short and I wanted to get so much in - I rowed to the other side of the falls, took many pictures of both sides and then - with a ravenous appetite - decided to try out the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery and Pub. The dining experience wonderful and the white fish was so fresh! The best white fish is in the UP! I decided to try the peach beer brew and was amazed at how yummy it was. Smooth, with a hint of peach.

From there I went up to Whitefish Point up on a tip of the peninsula. Waters are treacherous up there with high winds and a beach littered with weathered, driftwood like trees. There were amazing stones of all types being washed on shore. The wind was very cold, driving the huges waves crashing into the beach. They had a shipwreck museum there to explore along with a bird watching area, trails and a lighthouse.

The trip home included a stop in Petoskey for a stop at my favorite nature store. For grins, I stopped into a Ben Franklin and took advantage of a dent sale to pick up some Gamblin supplies and paint at less than 1/2 price. What a treat.

Everything seemed to fall into place, including selling some paintings. I went without any expectations other than to enjoy the beautiful Northern Michigan!

I would like to plan this trip again next year to reach some of the attractions that I missed on this go around. Something to look forward to in the cold winter to follow.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Time Sure Does Fly When You're Having Fun!

I can't believe I let 2 months go by without posting. Spring brings lots of outdoor work and activities - something has to fall by the wayside I guess. Not so with my painting however. I went to Kensington to paint this past Saturday and I was very pleased with my completed painting. You will be able to see it shortly on the GLPAPA website in the gallery section or I may just put it in my new upcoming website. I have submitted 3 other pieces that will be listed in the Great Lakes Plein Air Painters site soon.

My goal for Saturday's painting entitled the Depth of Spring was to create with transparencies the depth I was seeing behind the new green leaves in the trees and in the receeding water. I was trying a new technique to achieve this effect and I was successful. The painting was completed in about 2 hours. The birds were singing, the geese with their flock of babies were resting around 15 feet from me while I was painting. The proud parents had a flock of 23 babies! I counted in disbelief. They must have adopted some! Amazing couple to handle all of those youngsters.

I have been researching where and how I want my new website and will announce it here when I get it up and going. I am devoting more time to marketing, however, to paint and sell paintings must remain my first objective. Most of my work is sold and I want to compile a new body of work. Many ideas are floating and screaming to get onto canvas.

Today is a special day to remember all of those who have served and given their lives so that we may have the freedoms we enjoy today!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sketch Crawl

The Shiawassee Art Center in Owosso is having a Sketch Crawl on Saturday April 11, 2009. Many artists, sketching, enjoying and networking on the beautiful grounds which includes a castle and the Shiawassee River. It is a beautiful place to sketch, paint or just take pictures and wander the grounds.

The art center is a wonderful place to shop for gifts and they have art instruction classes. I have been going there for years! They are also on Facebook. Just sign on and type in Shiawassee Art Center to become a friend and see updates.

Click Sketch Crawl for more information on this organization. The Arts Center has also posted their event as do groups all around the world! Click on the forum to view all the happenings for your area!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Art Show Opportunity Full of Nature

While surfing the internet this morning for artistic endeavors, I came upon the Woldumar Nature Center Website. Of particular interest is the Wildflower Weekend to be held May 9th and 10th this year.

My main interest was the art show and doing some plein air painting. However, there are many other activities to explore: Wildflower Walk, Plant Sale, Pontoon Rides, Free Garden Seminars, Entertainment, Woodcarving, Pancake Breakfast, Tours and so much more.

Sounds like a wonderful nature filled day for all. I will be putting this one on my calendar!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Words of Wisdom

While surfing the internet, I came upon Kevin Weckbach's space on the MySpace Website. While reading Kevin's posts, it became apparent to me that this artist has a wealth of information to discuss about the intricacies of painting. I plan to read all of the posts and so should you.

Kevin Weckbach's art has been described as fluid, poetic, abstract work that is a pure expression of the artist himself. The Abend Gallery of Fine Art has this listed this about him: "His work is very sophisticated in the intellectual structure, the brush work and how Weckbach leads the viewer with color. Yet the work has spontaneity and freshness and conveys much with simplicity. Truly an exciting and talented artist. Art is a whole way of understanding. There is a difference between someone who looks at the world with their eyes, opposing one who sees the world through their eyes. Kevin is one who can see. Not only in an artistic way, but depicted in a logical manner with all sincerity of mood."

I enjoy reading ANYTHING about art. It is second to creating my art. It is a huge part of my life that I will always have to sustain me through hard times. As I find other tasty morsels on the Internet I will be sharing.....

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Marketing Meeting

We all agreed to meet on Saturday March 7 at noon at the Stillwater Grill in Brighton. I called today to make reservations and discovered they do not open until 3pm on Saturday. We need to either select another place or another date. I will email all in the group with some options.

We have a couple of new people that plan to join us this time.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Painting En Plein Air - Outdoor Painting Locally

As this cold winter drags on, I find myself enjoying the recent rise in temperatures. My mind is envisioning a session to paint outdoors. I know the truly rugged artists like Tim Widener and Heiner Hertling, among others are painting throughout the winter. Not liking the cold, I am finding solace keeping toasty by my fireplace. Humm....maybe I will paint that!

I want to make everyone aware of a group of artists that are meeting every Saturday, all year long (even through this cold cold winter). They are called the Michigan Plein Air Painters. Artists meet at Kensington Metro Park off of I-96 at 8:30 am on Saturdays in the Nature Center Parking Lot. At around 8:15 they depart to a mutually discussed painting place either in the park or at a nearby place that someone has discovered. At times, they will arrange with private residences and businesses to paint at their location. This is a fun group that also gathers at Baker's Restaurant in Milford at the other end of the park to have lunch after the mornings painting session. Artists are working in many mediums - Oil, Watercolor, Pastel, Pencils, Acrylic. Depending on time of year and weather, meetings many times reach over 20 artists. Check out their website - Michigan Plein Air Painters .

Painting en plein air (french for in the open air) has given my work a freshness that working strictly from photos can not achieve. The subtleties of the colors in the shadows and in the distance are often neglected by our cameras. To go out only to achieve a vision of the color nuances can also help with the outcome of your work.

Give it a try. The learning, the fellowship and the tasty lunch at Baker's makes for a fun, relaxing day.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Great Lakes Plein Air Painters Group Exhibition

ART SHOW - "Landscapes - Out in the Open" held at the Hope Borbas Okemos Library, 4321 Okemos Rd., Okemos, MI. Exhibit runs from February 1 to 24 during library hours. Contact the library at 517-347-2031 for more information.

I just finished hanging the entries for the Great Lakes Plein Air Painters. My entry, Kensington Morning, along with many members, including master members - Tim Widener, Sharon Griffes Tarr and Jerry Power will be on display. What a feast for the eyes! This show is a wonderful display of art that in all cases was created outdoors - on location. There is a freshness to work created in this way. Feeling and emotion mingles with medium evolving into spectacular works of art.

Opening reception is today - Sunday, Feb 1 from 1 to 4 pm. Please stop by to see over 30 works in oil, pastel and acrylic. Talk to the artists to find out what inspires them to brave the elements to create these expressive works of art.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dee Overly "Your Art Web Presence"

As my art marketing journey continues, I must add that what gave me the most encourgement to start my web presence was my recent workshop with Dee Overly. Her workshop on "Your Art Web Presence" was so informative and easy to digest that setting up a blog, website and other web presence links was a walk in the park. The intimidation of setting up this blog was erased by following her step by step format for results.

She is having a workshop soon at the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I highly recommend this workshop for the technically challenged. I will be attending the upcoming workshop too because there was so much information in the first workshop and she was so gracious and sharing with her information to get you going fast. I know she will have even more information this time around! If you are interested, the workshop is January 24, 2009 and you can go to Dee Overly's site to download the registration. This woman is truly a gem in the artist's pocket! No more procrastinating. Step out of the studio for a moment and get your presence out there!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Marketing Meeting

The date has been set for the marketing meeting. January 15 at 5:00 pm at the Red Cedar Grille in Williamston.

Outline for the upcoming meeting is below:

1. Go around the table to introduce ourselves with our 10 second introduction as outlined in section 1, Marketing Introduction. A short critique will follow from other members after each introduction. I feel this is very important practice to make a first impression with our customers.

2. Next, we will go around for each person to give a short rendition of their recent successes (since last meeting) and near future plans with their artwork. Gear this as if you were telling it to a prospective customer. Keep it to under 1 minute. Questions will follow after everyone has given their discussion.

3. Show and tell. Bring any interesting information you have gathered to share with the group. Bring 7 copies of the information if possible, or information for members to write down on how to connect to the information. This can be tax, marketing, shows, interesting observations for discussion, artwork you would like to have feedback on etc.

Each meeting is going to be different to cover all of the marketing segments. Practicing our presence with each other is vital to creating a link to our customers. People admire and want to be a part of an artists life. It is up to us to provide a presence that makes them feel excited to be a part of us and our creations. As in ALL of our life - marketing is everything! I know this is not an easy task, but it is very important to our development and success. Practicing it with each other eases the pain and creates a flow that will be natural instead of contrived.

Artfully yours....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Portrait Painting

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to have a portrait sketch of me done by artist Tim Widener of the Lansing area. What a thrill to see a modern day classically trained master at work. He had a mirror set up so that I could observe the process while posing.

The results in 3 hours were amazing. A beautifully rendered sketch that really captured my spirit. This was also a training session for me that has prompted me to think of an additional direction for my artwork. I have always enjoyed drawing models at the Hannah Community Center - homing in on each model's features, modeling them into a more flattering rendering. Tim has given me the encouragement to move on to new levels, rendering the models in oils. I am very grateful and cherish his mentoring.

I am organizing a workshop for Tim in the Lansing area May 12, 19 and 26th. The workshop will be 9 hours. Emphasis will be on painting techniques to facilitate out of doors - Plein Air - painting for the individual artist. Advanced students will receive separate, more specific technical instruction. Group demonstrations will answer questions on color, paint application, simplifying forms etc. Enrollment is limited to 25 people and the cost is $135.00.

You can contact me at for information on reservations. Be sure to visit Tim's website at

Not to be missed! My career is moving upward as a direct result of Tim's training. I highly recommend his workshops and mentorship.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

You have to start somewhere!

Starting a web presence with your artwork can be very daunting. However, I will embrace this venture with enthusiasm. I have set some goals for the new year which include starting a blog, creating a website and researching venues for my artwork.

Last year I took an art marketing action workshop with Alyson Stanfield. The wealth of information and enthusiasm that ensued excited me to become a salon leader to hold marketing salon meetings in my area. The materials gleaned from my workshop and in the material outline provided by Alyson for the marketing meetings inspired me to set my goals for 2009.

The monthly marketing meetings are proving to be both informative and energizing, spuring us to new heights. With our numbers growing, the marketing meetings will be a staple in 2009. If you have a chance to take a workshop with Alyson Stanfield, it will be well worth your time and money. This woman is not only chocked full of marketing knowledge for the artist, but she also has the charisma to excite and energize everyone in the room.