I've been hearing for a while from those more knowledgeable than myself that having an art website isn't enough, I should also create a separate artist facebook page. I had been hesitant because it just seemed like one more thing to keep up with, but it really does make sense to keep my personal facebook page personal and give the artistic pursuits a separate focus. Just another step in treating it as more of a business than a hobby. Today I finally did it. How I'm going to integrate the fb page with the website - what to post where, avoiding duplication, and linking back and forth - remains to be seen. I will figure it out as a go along, just like everything else in life!
Mike Monville has a long history of involvement with the art community in the Lapeer area. I could probably write a book about this very talented, completely unassuming man ... er, someone else could write a book, I'm sure I only know a fraction of what there is to know. For this post I am only going to write about his influence on my artistic growth. But I have to include at least a quick mention of him being involved in the early discussions of bringing an art gallery to downtown Lapeer, and moving the Lapeer Art Association from their home in a single building at a rural intersection a few minutes outside of town into said downtown gallery. I was not part of those particular discussions, my role at the time was focused on other parts of the implementation plan. But Mike and I became part of the same team once the gallery opened and an advisory committee was being formed to help guide its growth, which we both have served on since its inception.
Over the years I have gotten to know Mike and have fallen in love with his artistic style - a very loose & light, almost ethereal depiction of mostly nature themes. His wife Donna is also an artist (and just a generally awesome lady) who specializes in woven baskets and beeswax candles.
I have taken two art classes taught by Mike. The first, Pen and Ink Drawing was held a few years ago at Three Waters Studio at his home which is at the dead-end of a country road providing plenty of artistic inspiration in the surrounding landscape. (In fact, one of the Plein Aire oil painting sites taught by Jason Cornish was at the edge of a pond on Mike & Donna's property - this was the result.) Since I like drawing with ink anyway, this class was a good fit for me, I learned a lot and feel my technique greatly improved. One of the pieces I completed during that class (the one with the cardinal) recently sold at the annual LAA Winter Show.
The mandalas are done! I managed to get five done. Matted and framed and sent to Pontiac for the LOV Gala, which I understand was a great time. But I did not attend. I hope someone got photos. The art will be up through the end of the month so I should be able to get there sometime and see the display.
I haven't posted since January 18th, but that doesn't mean I've been idle.
My husband had back surgery 2 weeks ago so that has shaken up our household routine quite a bit, but I'm still managing to create art. I got 6 JKPP portraits done last month, 3 paintings for facebook art group challenges (got 2nd place in one of them again), finalized my first online art sale (the money cleared, yay!), am currently working on some Valentine-themed mandalas for the LOV event in Pontiac this weekend, and started attending a Watercolor on Aquaboard class. I still have the annual Women exhibit in mind but I don't think I'm going to be able to get a piece done by the February 11th deadline.
But the most fun thing lately - and most time-consuming - has been working on an upcoming exhibit for Gallery 194. Not my own work, but an exhibit on "Literary Art." Now, that term can mean many things, and an exhibit with this theme can go in many different directions. The first task of our Gallery Programming Committee was to narrow down our focus. Since Lapeer is the home of children's book author and illustrator Marguerite deAngeli, and our local library (appropriately called the Marguerite deAngeli Library) has a collection of her original works, we definitely want to include them in the display. While we could easily fill the whole gallery with her work, that didn't seem quite enough to constitute a "Literary Art" exhibit. So we decided to include some other book illustrations. I started to do some research for the committee and got sucked into a magnificent, mesmerizing, endless rabbit hole of information and images.
Book illustration (specifically, the "Golden Age") is such a vast topic that I honestly don't know how to describe it briefly for a simple blog post. So I will simply leave you with some links. Peruse at your leisure, but be forewarned, you may not get anything else done for a while.