Just Listed: New Lake Effects Art, plus Christmas Sales!

So here are my latest listings: Original Lake Effects III watercolors from last summer’s  painting project of Lake Michigan; a fabulous new signed and numbered collage print series showcasing the new Lake Effects III (summer) watercolors. Also find my new 2007 handbags and scarf & bag sets (now on sale for Christmas) as well as new necklaces and earrings (also on sale for Christmas).

Order anytime, but if you call by the 18th (i.e. the next ten days!) you can get it for Christmas!

The season has come for me to create! I love winter—so much time to focus and get things made and written. I have some big projects to finish, including the children’s book titled What’s In the Woods? (Great Lakes companion to my successful What’s on the Beach?) 

So Happy December, everyone!

Painting for Lake Effects III (summer poster) has begun!

I made a bargain with my generous hosts: I would exchange the original paintings eventually used in Lake Effects III (the summer poster completing my Lake Effects poster series) for at least six summer weeks access to a window to paint them from. In May I went for the first week and my rather outrageous proposal seems to be working! I have totally lucked out, with interesting, compatible hosts and a beautiful place (specifics to remain private) to enjoy a real Lake Michigan summer.

Two changes will distinguish this last poster from the first two:

1) I’m going to include several panoramas—paintings that take up two, three, even four spaces—instead of making all the paintings the same size. I love this effect, which communicates that wide horizon and makes clear at a glance that this poster is new.

2) Less noticeable but still important: The Lake Effects III view faces straight south over Lake Michigan from the southern shore of the Upper Peninsula. I will have to travel down to lighthouses to catch the sunset or dawn straight on, but the waves are phenomenal, sometimes rolling in all the way from Chicago. Manistique beaches are particularly surf-layered on windy days.

The new poster is scheduled to debut at The Timmel Collection, a wonderful gallery in Saugatuck, on Columbus Day weekend, October 6-7. Original art completed for the project—including the many pieces not in the poster (only about 30 will be chosen out of more than 100 pieces)—will be displayed (and sold!) there for the first time.

Click on the image to ENLARGE it.

Lake Effects III, Coming Up!

Starting in May and going through September, I will be working on the third and last poster in my Lake Effects posters. I don’t know whether I should say where this window is quite yet, but it is probably all right to let on that it’s in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, looking south, which lends a slightly different perspective to the first two posters, which were painted from a west-facing window.

I am almost out of the first two posters—Lake Effect I and Lake Effect II—with fewer than an hundred each remaining. I thought that rather than go to a third printing (those that remain are of a second edition), I’d do a summer poster, something new and a little different. Lake Effects I covers October-December, and Lake Effects II January – April; Lake Effects III will celebrate May – October.

Here are two sample paintings I’ve done as an experiment, painted from photographs of the prospective view. The actual poster paintings, all small playing-card size, will be painted from life, not photographs.

The posters should be ready for Christmas, 2007, at $25 each. Email me to get on the waiting list, and get a 20% discount!

Click on an image to enlarge it.

Mary Finally Leaps into 2007!

After finishing three Beaver Island commissions before Christmas as well as a three-week trip to Florida, I’m busy finishing a sequel to What’s On the Beach, another easy intro book to Great Lakes nature for kids (and clueless adults) called What’s In the Woods. I’ve finished most of the art and am now writing and doing layouts. With luck and a little less procrastination, I’ll have it ready by June.

The Florida trip got me started on another book idea: What’s on the Beach in Florida! I’m hoping to get that finished by Christmas. But I may have to postpone that project if I end up doing a third poster in my Lake Effects series this summer (Lake Effects I and II cover fall, winter, and spring, but not summer).

I have been sending out a few flyers to folks interested in those 36-views-from-the-same-window posters to see if someone with a good Lake Michigan view would be willing to extend me access to summer digs and a weatherproof window workplace in exchange for the 36 original watercolors that will become Lake Effects III, the last poster in the series. I’ve gotten an interesting response recently, so my artist-in-residency may dominate my summer.

Meanwhile, if you want to know what’s happening with me from the tight focus of a breast cancer survivor, pop onto my blog at HealthCentral. I’ll keep up better with this one too—a lot of art is happening that hasn’t yet been uploaded.

The painting (click on it to enlarge it) is an acrylic on paper, done for Ray and Nina Cole, owners and operators of the Beaver Island Lodge and Nina’s Restaurant on Beaver Island, Michigan.

Beaver Island Sketchbook

I didn’t visit Beaver Island last year, the first time in fourteen years that I hadn’t been there for at least the month of July, so this trip was a special treat. My house, which I sold two years ago, i found had been razed and replaced by a huge two-storey job with several livingrooms and as many bathrooms.

My friends said they cried when my house came down–we had made so many memories there. I’d held numerous writing workshops, parties, and a meditation workshop there. I’d put up friends, Buddhists monks, and a medicine woman–Keewaydinoquay– before I turned my guest room into a bookstore, and after that a gallery called Beaver Island Arts. I’d learned to paint there, sold my art and books for years, met many interesting people.

But now, although my place is gone, the island with its many natural wonders is still there. Even on foot I was able to reach my favorite beaches, woodlands, wetlands, sweet grass patches, and sunset views. The last day I was offered a car, so I got to spend a perfect summer afternoon on Donegal Bay, my favorite swimming beach in the world.

And I hung out at the Beaver Island Lodge, where the owners, Ray and Nina Cole, always let me sit and paint either out on the lawn or at one of their lovely patio tables overlooking Lake Michigan and Garden Island. Several of my paintings hang inside their lovely dining room and my Lake Effects posters, both beautifully framed, welcome visitors at the front desk.

While I painted the lake, one of my favorite views, yet again (I have done it often at different times of day), a flock of wild turkeys crossed the lawn and then reappeared an hour later on the beach. I’d never seen turkeys on a beach before, and earlier that morning I witnessed another Beaver Island first for me –a pileated woodpecker.

Click on any image to enlarge it.