Sunday, May 21


"The Dawning" is a pastel completed a few years ago and influenced by a predawn walk around the harbor of the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, early on July 5th. The evening before, the club was the scene of family gatherings and memorable moments celebrating our country's birthday, with a wild and exciting fireworks display high above the clubhouse on Lake St. Clair. What a difference a few hours makes.
      This past weekend in 2017, this special piece was donated to the Yacht Club Committee for Youth Sailing, for auction, and is now in the possession of another generous donor who believes in supporting youth sailing on our great lake. 
         Congratulations to its new owner. May "The Dawning" have a happy new home.

Thursday, December 1


The Woodsman Santa
Oil Pastel on Textured Mat Board

It is Interesting what a chilly walk in the Ohio country woods can do. This year's commemorative Santa is inspired by nature and the northern forests that abound in all the areas I love best.

I have wanted to create a woodland Santa for a long time, and today that desire became reality. He is not your red-suited "jolly old elf" and it's not a Santa with obvious trappings and traditional garb. Rather, this year's Santa is one that evolved from  talking a woodland, country walk while hunting for inspiration. This Santa is MY Santa, bringing impish magic to all that are willing to BELIEVE. Red suit or not.

Here is the 2016 commemorative holiday piece, "The Woodsman Santa" ~ Happy Holidays, everyone!

Monday, October 10


Rain on the Hill

Way to GO, Rain on the Hill! Another accolade. Wheee!

I was just asked for permission for Rain on the Hill, a pastel done a few years ago and in a private collection, to be published in the upcoming North Light Book Art Journey-Abstract Painting:A Celebration of Contemporary Art.

A total surprise. 

Sunday, October 9


Champagne Preview, Wednesday Nov. 16, 5:00-9:00
Shopping for everyone, Thursday Nov. 17, 10:00-3:00.
Please join me at the annual Grosse Pointe Yacht Club Holiday Boutique. I will be exhibiting holiday prints and originals, as well as select pieces from the 'Along Michigan Shores' series.

  ~ See you there ~
GPYC, 788 Lakeshore Rd, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI.

Monday, April 18


Above Waterlemon - St. John, VI

Oil Pastel on Paper, 9x11
Giclees available

I wish I could say I was right there, completing this piece plein air, on St. John. But, last week, still hunkered down in Michigan, I retreated to my studio and by way of a commission, I added another work to the ongoing series Art of the Virgin Islands.  

Doing landscape work takes me directly to the spot being depicted. I am enjoying landscape more and more - guess I need a vacation. 

The Virgin Islands series is a large ongoing body of work with favorite scenes of St John in the Virgin Islands. The first in the series was done on vacation there, in 1999 and more have been added yearly. All pieces have been oil pastel and most have been done plein air. Most originals quickly go to homes, and additionally all works in the series are available in giclee. I am pleased a very special gallery on St. John also represent the works. 
Full Moon of St. John at Aqua Bistro, Coral Bay

Sunday, March 13


In this building, at 158 Ridge Road, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, Services and activities for Older Citizens (SOC) occur day in and day out. From March 1 to June, 2016, a wonderful exhibition of artwork will be on exhibition. Artists, who have reached their 60th birthday and beyond,are displaying works juried by Grosse Pointe Art Association.

It is an honor that 3 of my works have been juried for exhibition and  are now on the walls of this respected and impressive Grosse Pointe community organization. 

 "Eggplant and Friends"
Oil Pastel on Strathmore charcoal paper

 "Red Peeking"
Oil Pastel on Strathmore Charcoal Paper

"Tower at Sunset"
Pastel on sanded paper

Monday, September 21

INTRODUCING ~ The 2015 Commemorative Santa Claus portrait

Oil Pastel on Textured Mat Board

Each year, from 2003 to the present, I have created a commemorative Santa Claus portrait  The series grows and I now have 14 images to share.  

Interestingly, some years Santa has been created while I have been in a private art immersion in the Florida Keys. (tough place to be inspired to do SANTA!) A few years, the yearly portrait has been done in my Grosse Pointe studio. Lately and again this year, he was created in my special place in Ohio.  

Click here to see all the Santa's in the Santa Claus Series 

Sunday, February 22



Announcing the Northville Art House Pastel Invitational. Approximately 10 of my works will be exhibited at the Northville Art House, Northville, Michigan.

April 3 to April 25, 2015, the works of 6 pastellists will be exhibited together in the Pastel Invitational. I am fortunate to be one of the invited artists. Friday night, April 3rd is the artists reception, 6:00 to 9:00 pm, during which, each artist will speak briefly about their works.

The works will stay on display and for sale through April 25th.

Tuesday, November 25


The most recent work in the series HOMETOWN OHIO has been purchased by the Bryan Chamber of Commerce, Bryan, Ohio. I am honored and pleased that my hometown now owns this very special pastel.

"Lighting a Bryan Night" is a pastel honoring the picturesque courthouse square of Bryan Ohio at the Holidays, when the courthouse is festively strung with multicolored lights - a tradition that was instigated in 1946 by my father John Gorny, Mr. Al Yahrus and several other community leaders. The pastel and more information about the work is pictured a few posts below this particular entry.

Congratulations to the Bryan Chamber of Commerce for giving  "Lighting a Bryan Night"  a new home.

Sunday, September 21


The 2014 Commemorative Santa Claus
"Santa Decorating the Tree"

oil pastel on textured mat board

Although the days of traditional blown glass ornaments are behind us, the vintage ornament Santa is carrying in this work is a cherished glass bulb which my Mother and Dad hung on their trees in the 40's and 50's. The rocking horse is a nod to my childhood love of horses and is an ornament given to me by my Mother in the early 80's. Both are special decorations and are depicted in this year's commemorative Santa Claus.

In 2003 the first Santa image was created, and with it The Santa Claus Series began. 12 Santas later, I have returned to the exact Santa that served as model for the inaugural piece "Santa of the Tree". I wanted to commemorate the 12th and possibly final Santa in the series by revisiting the first Santa I created, presenting him with new vision.

This original work is large scale at 32 X 24 and done in oil pastel on textured mat board. Prints are now available.

Monday, March 3

GIZMO - posing for "On the Lookout"

Oil Pastel 
Collection of Robinson Veterinary Hospital, 
Johnson City, Tennessee

It has been said ... "paint what you love and it will show in every stroke".

I need not tell anyone that our pets play an incredibly important part in our lives and we love them as much as anything that we cherish and treasure.  This work, done a few years ago, is posted today in honor of our 18 year old GIZMO who left us last night to do some big-time hunting of his own, in cat Heaven. If it does not show here, I want to say right out loud that I loved him very much.

I am particularly proud that a few months ago the original artwork that Gizmo posed for "On the Lookout" and five animal portraits in giclee went to Robinson Veterinary Hospital in Johnson City Tennessee where it will be enjoyed by Dr. James Robinson, his staff and all visitors to the hospital. 

Sunday, January 26

Lighting a Bryan Night

Lighting a Bryan Night
Pastel on Paper
32 x 26

There is a place of magic in the northwestern corner of Ohio that I call home... At Christmas time, in the center of the little town, the courthouse square of Bryan, Ohio turns into a place full of  lights, decorations, garlands, and even SANTA CLAUS and his reindeer...   There are fewer places on Earth that put the excitement of Christmas into my heart than Bryan's town square at night. It is all made more wonderful when the snow is falling, blanketing everything in purest white.

The lights that are strung from the courthouse reach out from its tower to eight sections of the historic old buildings on the square. The lights make it appear that there is a multi-colored canopy pulling the entire downtown together.  At night, the site is easily seen for several miles outside of Bryan and beckons everyone to come closer and enjoy the effects....

I am particularly proud of all this. Back in 1947, my dad, John Gorny, joined with several other businessmen and friends to plan the original lighting of the square, and ever since that very first lighting, I have been able to say my Dad and a few of his buddies DID THAT! 

Thursday, November 7

The 2013 Commemorative Santa Claus


A White Christmas Remembered
oil pastel on textured mat board

For a number of years I have created a Santa Claus to celebrate the holiday season. I have just completed the 12th Santa in the series. It is a joy to introduce the Commemorative Santa for 2013,  
A White Christmas Remembered.

Everyone understands the magic of Christmas Eve. If it should snow on Christmas, then all the better!  This year, a melancholy Santa recalls all the mystical and wonderful Christmas Eves of the past.  He offers you a snow globe and a promise that, at any time you wish, the magic and memories can be recalled simply by gazing into the glass.

Sunday, November 3

New Gallery on St John, VI

Well! This is exciting!  I am happy to say my giclee works in the St. John, Virgin Islands Series will be represented at a second gallery on St. John. The two settlements on the island, Cruz Bay on the WEST and Coral Bay on the EAST have very distinct personalities, and I wanted my works exhibited in BOTH.

Starting in November, my prints will be displayed at FULL MOON OF ST JOHN Cafe and Gallery in Coral Bay. In a beautiful Caribbean courtyard literally yards from the waters edge, Full Moon of St John can be found by ambling up a few stone steps to the shop and gallery.

Sebastien and Ana are the owners of Full Moon where I am sure my giclees of the St John series will be given a good home.

Additionally, and as always, originals and giclees in the series can be found at another wonderful gallery on the island, Best of Both Worlds Gallery, at Mongoose Junction, in Cruz Bay, St. John.

Thanks so much to both terrific locations for hosting my works. I am very pleased!

Thursday, September 5

The Greatest Show on Earth !

Glitters, at Honeymoon Beach, St. John
oil pastel, 
matted and framed   13 x 16
Contact Artist 

Represented by Full Moon of St John
Aqua Bistro - Coral Bay 
St. John, VI

I have a couple favorite beaches on the island of St. John. Honeymoon Beach hits the top of the charts in my book, especially if I can be the solitary soul enjoying it. Not the easiest beach to get to, there are times after about 4 in the afternoon when day cruisers have left on their boats, and most beach people pull up stakes and begin their hike back to Caneel Bay for dinner ... it is at that moment, later in the day, when nobody is left in the sand, that the magic begins.

Glitters will begin to dance on the surface of the water. Preparations for a Caribbean sunset will be underway.  And, if you can snag those private box seats for sunset at Honeymoon Beach, you will agree that the experience should be titled "The Greatest Show on Earth".

Saturday, July 27

Furrows from the Wolverine

Furrows from the Wolverine
Pastel on sanded paper
6.5 x 12

Along the tracks, as the Wolverine Line clickety clacks between Chicago and Detroit there are scenes of tranquility and honesty that present themselves to everyone who is open to the show.  
With no visible greenery in the freshly plowed fields as I traveled on the AmTrak in May, it was insightful to study the artistic patterns farmers unwittingly make with tractors, as their fields are prepared, plowed and made ready for the summer growing season.   

Friday, June 14

Riding the Wolverine

Tracks at Niles
Pastel on sanded paper

In mid May I had the opportunity to ride AmTrak's Wolverine line between Detroit and Union Station, Chicago - twice. That means there and back.... the ride was stupendous and inspirational, especially the "back" part. Return trip took me thru late spring landscapes at the setting of the sun, when the sky was warm and the sun was low. It was such solitary fun and the sights were lulling and exciting. As a kid, I was crazy for train travel. Guess things have not changed much.
Speaking of not changing much, take a look at the remarkable charm of the Niles Michigan train station. Additionally, I have plans for more small and intimate impressionistic pastels of the ride on the Wolverine Line. COME BACK... please.  Book a return trip :o)

Wednesday, April 3

Displaying in FOOD FOR THOUGHT exhibition

The most recent exhibition where my work can be seen is FOOD FOR THOUGHT, the current Grosse Pointe Art Center juried exhibit. FOOD FOR THOUGHT is on exhibit at GPAC, 17051 Kercheval Avenue in the village, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, April 9th  to May 12th.

Works in the juried exhibit, such as the two works below, thematically give rise to thought and emotions, through the vision of  artists using "food" as their subject matter.

Emotion IN Equals Emotion OUT
Oil Pastel framed 19x23

Way out of Line
Diptych in oil pastel, matted and framed 34x34

Way out of Line is a work dedicated to friend Jan Rehmann.  Jan was dearly loved by many close friends and was part of a large group who still morns her recent loss.
In the first drawing we see the gang standing without her, her place in line brightly lit but sadly empty. The second drawing is Jan, standing out of line, alone in the spotlight where she will always shine.  ~ FOOD FOR THOUGHT.  


Monday, March 4

Accepted in the Juried Michigan Area Exhibition SIZE MATTERS

Soul Mate
oil pastel  
30x26, matted and framed  
Chroma Therapy
oil pastel
31x 26, matted and framed

Two oil pastel works have been accepted in the Michigan area exhibition, SIZE MATTERS.

The show's parameters state that the dimensions of the works submitted should be so big or so small that the image becomes abstracted to the human perspective. Artists were asked to submit work smaller than 8x10 or larger than 16x20.
Chroma Therapy and Soul Mate easily fit within the parameters of the exhibition. Both present small objects in abnormally large scale.  Because size and color elements  in my oil pastels have been enhanced and changed, I invite the viewer to reevaluate and reintroduce themselves with what they traditional thought of as "delicate butterfly" and "little yellow pear".  If you go, HAVE FUN.... see you there.

Tuesday, February 5


Best Friend
Oil Pastel on Strathmore 500 Charcoal Paper
Everybody says, a dog is man's best friend. OK. Here he is ... Actually this MAY be a she - MAGGIE. 
Best Friend is going to be a gift given to a brother of a friend, but I am guessing my friend is going to want this work for her own.  She loves Maggie as much as her brother does, maybe more.  Truth be known, Maggie scared the bejeebers out of me when I went to visit before doing the portrait. But, as I pushed the oil pastels over the paper this week, I got more and more comfortable with the doggie with the beguiling golden retriever smile. And, I understand why little faces like this are hard to resist.  Yep!  Best Friend. Good title.
Maggie, good dog!  :o) 

Friday, October 19

The Pinnacle - the Bell Tower of the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club

The Pinnacle
Framed Pastel
28 x 23
Most residents in Metropolitan Detroit recognize the nearly 100 year old iconic Grosse Pointe Yacht Club bell tower as a familiar and friendly landmark. Many boaters know the sight well, and use it as a majestic visual navigational point on Lake St. Clair, between the great lakes of Huron and Erie. 

Summer activities thrive at the GPYC. But, the fall and approaching winter season herald the anticipation of many grand and glorious events held in the ball room below that incredible tower. The evening sky on such brisk autumn evenings looks much like it does in The Pinnacle, a favorite pastel I have pictured above.

These crisp evening sunsets present stunning backdrops for the stately tower of the GPYC. Such will be the case in mid November, when holiday season begins with the HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE and SALE.  Champagne will flow on the opening night, November 14.  My works, as well as goodies from other creative and unique artisans and boutique owners, will be on display and for purchase. JOIN ME UNDER THE PINNACLE ~ November 14 and 15, 2012.

Sunday, July 22

Accepted in the 2012, ALIMENT exhibition, Anton Art Center

WONDERFUL NEWS! I was just notified that three oil pastel works, in the Allegorical Still Life series, have been accepted in the upcoming juried exhibition titled ALIMENT ~ What's ALIMENT? Dictionary helped me with the meaning, too and describes it as of and pertaining to food or nutrition, providing nourishment. The exhibition includes works which relate to aliment and the pieces above, fit that bill.
The location of the exhibition is Anton Art Center, 125 Macomb Place, Mount Clement, MI. The exhibit will open with an artists reception, from 6-9 PM, on August 3 and pieces remain on display through August 30th, 2012. Awards will be given and works are available for purchase. The center is open daily from 11-4:30, and the ALIMENT is free to the public.

Titles of pieces starting at the top:
Eggplant and Friends
Dance of the Chroma Pears
Mango Nose

Saturday, June 2

Talking to the Man in the Moon

Talking to the Man in the Moon

Oil Pastel on Strathmore Series 50 charcoal paper

Framed 30x25

In life there are special people we dearly want to speak to, but for one reason or another, those people may not be available to us... How many times have we spoken a word or two to the moon in hopes our message might be bounced off the surface and on, toward a lost loved one?

Because of the difficulty connecting, the mouthpiece into which we would have spoken our words, symbolically, is only partially represented ... we can, however, evoke fond memories and have wonderful conversations with anyone we choose, through the use of our imagination. That fact is symbolized by finally showing the full mouthpiece in strong shadow near the bottom of the paper.... I consider this the focal point of the piece.

As the story unfolds, the face of the full moon can be seen glowing on the dial.

Wednesday, November 16

INTRODUCING Father Christmas

Father Christmas
Oil Pastel on Textured Mat Board
24x32, Oil Pastel on Textured Mat Board
Giclee's are Available
Artwork for the 2011 Holiday season will be officially introduced and made available at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club Holiday Boutique tomorrow, November 16th and 17th. The event promises to be a grand event, with hundreds of attendees at the Champagne Preview Party tomorrow night, and hopefully, more visitors than I can handle, on the day after!

This years Santa image (there are actually TWO Santa oil pastels this year) is an old world Santa inspired by the talented creator of exquisite St. Nick sculptural "dolls", my friend Jane Altadonna ...Her creations have influenced each of my creations in past years ... you can see all the additional Santas in the series by clicking this LINK.
See you at the BOUTIQUE!

Monday, October 31

Ya gotta have a little fun sometimes!

Not all work has to be serious and heaven knows the pieces I just finished are an example of that

.... I am preparing some light hearted, holiday art works which will be displayed and offered at the annual Grosse Pointe Yacht Club Holiday Boutique, November, 16 and 17, at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, 788 Lakeshore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI.... I created a batch of oil pastels on textured mat boards, with whimsical snowmen as my subject matter, and had a great time laughing at each character when they were in progress and ultimately finished....

They will go to happy homes after the close of the boutique and the acceptance and enjoyment of the snowmen will again make me wonder if I should have been an artist for DISNEY rather than try to gain a reputation with the likes of Mary Cassatt ... OK, that's a stretch, but I figure ... "Dream big or go home...."

Anyway, I am pretty sure it would have been more FUN to work for Walt than to follow the life the Impressionists carved out for themselves... Oh, YUCK! All that Absinthe and angst! And, I can't be serious for all that long........ See you at the BOUTIQUE! :o)

Tuesday, September 6

October Sky

October Sky

Pastel on Hahnemuhle Suede Paper
Private Collection
giclee available in custom sizes of your choice

On an evening when there was an almost cloudless sky, I needed to record the sunset as a remembrance for a couple celebrating their wedding reception at the nearly 100 year old, historic Grosse Pointe Yacht Club.

But, for me, sunset with not a cloud in sight presents an unexciting viewpoint. And, that is what I was getting. I searched and scanned the sky for something memorable, other than perfect blue.

Finally, as if on cue, a silver cloud-band appeared, the sky turned coral pink, and the cloud became illuminated with stripes of silver. The wedding couple may not have had eyes toward the sunset, but I on the other hand saw it all unfold, at just about the moment their wedding toasts were being completed.

For many reasons, I for one will not forget the beauty of the special evening.

Friday, March 11

The temptations of St. John, USVI

Oil Pastel on Paper
Evening Ferry to Red Hook
A quick trip to St. John, VI produced more R&R than ARRRT, this past week. Sometimes the desire to sample the sunshine that the islands offer, almost 365 days a year, and to become engulfed in the sounds, fragrances, tropical breezes and relaxation in this place, is too much to take. I caved!

But, one evening I pulled the oil pastels out of their little box and sat in front of the amazing show seen nightly from St. John -- the sun setting across Pillsbury Sound, behind the little islands that pepper the east end of St. Thomas where the ferry boats lazily go and come out of Red Hook.

For several hours I scratched out a few sunset pictures, capturing the scene as it changed from point to point.

Then, I packed away the oil pastel sticks and gave in to the beckoning sounds I heard from the activity of the evening in the little town of Cruz Bay, about a mile away. I should have stayed home to work on more art. But, all I could hear in my head were the words .... Dont worry, be happy! How can you argue with that?

Thursday, December 16

Results of the CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE in the STUDIO Dec 12 and 13 -- Weekend of the huge snow and ice storm in the Upper Midwest!

T'was 2 weeks before Christmas
and all through the house,
the studio had no visitors,
Not even a mouse...

but the pictures were hung
by the chimney with care
in hopes that St. Nicholas
soon would be there -- TO BUY SOMETHING!

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
gave the feeling of ALASKA and froze off my toe!

So, away to the window
I flew like a flash,
Tore open the studio door
and yelled with Panache ...



Then, what to my wondering eyes should appear
but a bare naked driveway and NO cars! OH DEAR!

So ...... I listened to Carols
on my old CD player.
Even sang some out loud
since NO one could hear-er!

The snow kept on falling
and nobody came.
I whistled and shouted

......So, I relaxed for two days
and ate all the cookies
As I sat all alone.

The wine disappeared
cause it was open already.
Drank so much of it
my feet got unsteady.

As I stumbled to the door
for a last ditch appeal
I heard myself squeal!

Rock bottom prices
didn't bring the crowds in
So, I decided t'was useless
and closed up my bin!

Closed up the shop,
put a lock on the door,
I'll try again next year
with NEW work, and much more -- WINE!

I'll plan it for June
when the weather is warm.
Not close to Christmas,
or in a snow storm."

T'was fun and I'm saying
I'm glad that I did it ...
So, Merry Christmas to all
who didn't come visit ! :o)))))

Love, Shelley

Saturday, August 7

The Commemorative Santa for 2010

St. Nick and the Nutcracker

Oil Pastel on Textured Mat Board, 32x24
. Each holiday season, I create a commemorative image of Santa and offer giclees of the original to family and friends... During a hot August week in Ohio, the commemorative Santa for 2010 was created and is now ready to be introduced. As a nod to my interest in collecting wooden nutcrackers, the 2010 Saint Nick is seen bringing a stout and festive holiday nutcracker your way, and with a twinkle in his eye, he is decorating early, for the holidays. .
The original oil pastel of Saint Nick and the Nutcracker is 24x23, unframed on textured mat board and unlike any year previous, is available for purchase. (10-15-10, SOLD)

Sunday, July 18

Recent Award for ROSIE'S GAZE

Rosie's Gaze
Oil Pastel
on Strathmore 500 series charcoal paper

North Light Books has compiled what it considers the finest examples of contemporary drawing out there today. It titles the coffee table book Strokes of Genius in reference to the fact that all the works represented are drawings. So far North Light Books has published two volumes in approximately 6 years... with a third volume in the final stages of development. The hard bound fine art book will debut in the fall of 2011.
Rosie's Gaze, my drawing in oil pastel on Strathmore 500 series charcoal paper, has been selected for inclusion in Volume Three of Strokes of Genius. I was notified a few weeks ago and I am still up in the clouds. I know this is an amazing achievement to be included with today's finest contemporary draftsmen and I consider this one of my highest honors ...
It seems my stars have aligned in the past year, because I have enjoyed an incredible amount of success: Inclusion in Pastel Journal's Pastel 100 for 2009, second place Detroit Society of Women Painters and Sculptors Annual Exhibition, and attaining the Virginia Thibedeau Award for Drawing in the GPAA Annual Exhibition.
I should stop typing and start arting, in order to confirm and validate my good fortune ... More about the publication when I know more.

Thursday, April 29

Night Lights - a new pastel

Night Lights
a pastel on sanded paper
framed  20x15

Night lighting creates shapes, reflections and colors that do not exist in the bright light of day. Everything changes ~ over water, everything becomes magically mysterious at night.
Reflections can dance or crash or hang quietly upside down, depending upon the elements. Rendering an impression of these late evening and night scenes offers a new artistic challenge and has captured my interest ...
Night Lights is my most recent pastel, completed today, and will be exhibited at the Great Lakes Boating Festival which takes place in three weeks.
Personal note ... walking the docks on a dead calm evening last summer, I felt like I had found secret treasure. The soft blue light that glows on, then off, on the tip of the majestic Yacht Club tower, also resides in the dark murky waters below the building... In all my years of perusing the harbor, I had never seen the twin of the tower light until that moment. Now, on totally calm nights, I regularly use the water as a magic mirror to view the scenes around me in a whole new "light".

Thursday, November 12

Honorable Mention - The Pastel 100 for 2009 !!!

Rain on the Hill - Grosse Pointe
The Pastel Journal holds an annual competition to choose the top 100 exceptional pastel paintings of the year. I just got the exciting news that Rain on the Hill was awarded an honorable mention in the Abstract & Non-Objective catagory! The piece will be included with the 100 pastel paintings chosen for 2009 and will be displayed in the April, 2010 issue of The Pastel Journal.
What a thrill. Being included is my greatest honor. I hardly know what more to say, so I think I will just let the news sink in. THIS IS WONDERFUL :O)
Rain on the Hill is currently on exhibit with the juried exhibition URBAN EDGE, at Grosse Pointe Art Center, 16900 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe, MI. January 22 - March 6th, 2010. ~ juror: Taurus Burns

Monday, October 26

The 2009 Commemorative Santa Claus

I'll Be There with Bells On
We all like to believe that Santa promises to visit the homes of all good little girls and boys each Christmas Eve. We can imagine that he waits all year with excited anticipation for his stopover at our houses. Here he assures us that he will be there by telling us "I'll be There with Bells On".

For a number of years I have created a Santa image to commemorate the holiday season. I completed the 2009 Santa this week. The piece is done in oil pastel on textured mat board is 24x32.
VISIT THE SANTA CLAUS SERIES at this link ... Santa Series.
In years past, I have worked on the Santas while I was in various locations. A few were done in the studio, this one was done while I visited my hometown of Bryan, Ohio. And, I find it comical that several were done in the hot Florida sunshine while I over looked the glittering waters of the Florida Keys. Seems a strange place to find inspiration to create art for the holidays. ~ Confirmation that if we believe, Santa visits all of us no matter where we are.

Saturday, September 19

Pierre's Palm

Pierre's Palm - Islamorada Sunset

Pastel on Sanded Paper 15.5 x 12.5

There is an ancient palm that overhangs the coral beach on Islamorada, in the Florida Keys. Many a family and many a visitor to the beach overlooking the Gulf have marveled at this tree. How it shaped itself and angled it's trunk to stretch far out beyond the waters edge is a marvel. Even more so, considering the weather that must threaten it, not to mention the kids who scramble upon it, and the people who hang over it for the perfect "Christmas Card" shot or two....

The scene above is that palm at sunset, on a night when there was not a cloud in the sky nor ripple on the gulf below. It happened this way, February 28, 2009, and this is the pastel that resulted.

Wednesday, September 9

Watching the Wake

Watching the Wake ~
Pastel on sanded paper, framed 23x35

One special evening a few weeks ago, I was treated to a trip back in time ~
I had not been to CLEAR LAKE in Indiana since I graduated high school! My buddy Marcia headed her car out of Bryan, Ohio and drove us both to Clear Lake for a slow drive around this marvelous lake and to retouch with the grand old days. At the end of our evening, with high school pals at my side, we took a pontoon ride while the sun set. I sat in the back, watching the wake behind us, as we floated on and on. The moment was special for many reasons, and this pastel commemorated the memory...
Working in the studio, I started and finished this pastel today... not quite the same as sitting on the pontoon, feeling the fresh evening breezes on the lake, laughing with friends as we made the trip all the way around the shoreline ~ but just as rewarding.
Artists Note: Watching the Wake is a large pastel, framed, 23.5x35. This particular pastel has commanded a bit of special framing - it's been framed with Museum Glass. Museum Glass is an amazing bit of technology, not to be confused with non-glare glass, that allows the piece of art to appear to be protected with NO glass at all... in a few instances there is a bit of light reflection, but only minimally. Museum Glass covers a good number of paintings in museums, but viewers are hardly aware they are looking at their favorite artists oil painting protected by a piece of this miraculous stuff.
There are times when I have completed a pastel or oil pastel and felt the subtle colors were distracted by glare on the protective glass or Plexi. With this piece, framed as it is, I proudly take a step in the direction of being able to exhibit and offer my artwork for viewing almost as clearly and purely as if it came right off the studio floor.
(Yes. I work on the floor. That's another story).

Sunday, August 23

Another Award ~ WHEEEE!

The Dawning
Pastel on Hahnemuhle Suede Paper
On a crisp 4th of July morning, in the harbor of the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, a predawn walk-about presented me with a moment that awakened a myriad of sensations. The sun had not yet risen. The dew was still thick and made walking on the docks dangerously slippery, without a morning coffee. The harbor smells were fresh and intense - in a good way. And, the quiet was astounding.
There in the sky and reflected in the water of the harbor was an amazing chevron of pinks, oranges, mauves - pierced by the spire of the majestic and nearly 100 year old Grosse Pointe Yacht Club tower.
The pastel above resulted. Today, this piece was awarded second place by the juror of the annual member exhibition of the oldest women's art organization in Detroit, Michigan - The Detroit Society of Woman Painters and Sculptors. Again, I am honored and thrilled by the affirmation that my work is appreciated and enjoyed.

Friday, July 17

Virginia Thibedeau Award

Regal Watch Oil Pastel 24x32
Regal Watch is an oil pastel, recently entered in the 71st Annual Member Exhibit of Grosse Pointe Artist Association and was juried by Phil Vanderweg. Regal Watch was awarded the Virginia Thibedeau Memorial Award, for drawing or pastel. Whee, I am thrilled for this confirmation. There are not many ways for artists to know they have done something 'right'. Art, afterall is subjective and relative. It's personal and as the heading to the pastel below says "one man's trash is another man's treasure".... if your car breaks, you fix it, it runs, you know you did good is not that easy in the subjective art world. It often happens like this ~ if you do an art piece, you show it, it's rejected from a show, you wonder what you did wrong .... if you show the same art piece in another exhibit, it is an award winner, you are confused but very PLEASED. All this is to say, awards to me are not silly fluff. They confirm that for the moment, someone else believes you have "done something right".

Saturday, May 9

Another Man's Treasure

Another Man's Treasure - Pastel on Textured Mat Board - Framed 19.5x21.5

Lets' do a total turn around ... no more snow, beautiful blue sky, different farm and family ... While driving back forth, back forth from Michigan to Bryan, Ohio I like to study the unencumbered open sky and tranquility of flat farmland. I see patterns of shape and color rather than winter wheat, soy beans and corn. The stretch of turnpike between Toledo and the Bryan exit is one huge patchwork quilt. Each shape is a new color and piece in the blanket.

As soon as I make the turn from turnpike toll booth to the straightaway toward the west, I feel calmed and freshened. For me it's the landscape and the open sky. Hoping the same will happen to you, I offer this pastel for viewing - Another Man's Treasure. I will not be surprised if your story and feeling for the scene is far different from mine, because I often hear "what DO you see in those run down old farms, anyway?" ... my answer is "Everything".

~ One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Thursday, May 7

Thanksgiving - A Light Dusting

Thanksgiving - A Light Dusting, Pastel Framed 19.5x21.5
This farm is one which served as model 9 years ago. I did an oil painting of the same farm, surrounded by corn rows accentuated by a light dusting of snow. The piece sold immediately and I have missed the piece ever since.
Problem solved .... This is a new pastel, done the week I spent in Ohio, and celebrates the feeling one might have during the afternoon of Thanksgiving while taking a walk as the turkey bakes and makes the house smell grand, kids in the house tear the place apart, and whistles and cheers and talk of football games on TV add constant background noise to the day.
Escaping all that hustle and bustle, this is the late autumn scene I would like to see while taking time out in the fresh country air.

Tuesday, April 21

Williams County Castle - Hometown Ohio Series

Dusk at the Courthouse Square,
Pastel - Framed 20x22
I have developed a series of work inspired by the rural landscape, historic buildings and old fashioned values of the little town where I grew up. I am visiting there this week, doing works to add to the series. Scenes in the town offer pictorial images almost around every corner. The Williams County Court House stands in the center of town, and pretty much knocks your socks off when you see it. My choice for all time most magical view includes the band stand after sunset, when the sky is Van Gogh blue and the court house is bathed in dramatic spot lighting...the pastel I finished today.
Check out the photo below, for a view of "the castle" all decked out at Christmas.
I don't leave here for a few more days, so hopefully there be more additions to the series as the week progresses.

Friday, March 27

Soul Mate

Soul Mate
Oil Pastel Framed 25x30

This piece may look familiar because it was begun 11 months ago. Two soul mate monarch butterflies perched for a short time on the porch of the house we have been lucky to stay in each spring. This was Florida, certainly not Michigan! I was inspired to capture them as they stayed there motionless for half a glorious tropical day. But, I was never pleased with the result, because I feel true soul mates should be rendered with more passion, fire, connection and balance than I originally expressed. Today, in the hopes of rekindling that emotion, I revisited the work and this was the result -- Better! The work is framed and finished, at least for the time being ...