About Me

My photo
I am an artist working in Water Color, Oils, Glass and wood in North Central Indiana. I enjoy Plein Aire work the most but often find myself in the studio during the winter when the weather is less than desirable for working on location. I have always been an artist, memories of drawing are some of my oldest. My early influence came from looking at old magazine covers done by Norman Rockwell. Later I discovered the photography of Edward Curtis as he had struggled to capture the American Indians of the Southwest before that culture completely disappeared. then I found Andrew Wyeth and knew what I wanted to paint. The Egg Tempera and Water Color Paintings of Andrew Wyeth were simply wonderful and I was forever committed to painting the rural landscape and those that live there. It was then I realized I would never again see the land as I had before I painted it. Soon after it was Winslow Homer and his Water Colors that kept feeding my interest in this medium and a traditional approach to my art. While I left the life as a professional artist for a time I find my return to it at this point in my life refreshing. Life is a journey and I am turning towards home. Mike Yazel

Saturday, January 30, 2010

One more Native American

Some of these guys work very hard at getting the look and some of them are downright spooky when they are in full dress. Yes that is a feather through his nose and it is real. I have seen many with this adornment. While obviously not for everyone it makes for a very striking appearance if that is what you desire. I like the strong colors, the black and red on the face gives a haunting look. It would have been very interesting to say the least to have lived in those times that these individuals would have been among the colonists in daily life. I will post some more of these as time goes by as I find them very interesting. This painting is 6x8 inches and available for purchase. It is priced at $125 and will not ship until dry and varnished which will be 4-6 weeks. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

Living History

Here is something a lot different than I normally paint. A long time ago I did a lot portraits but had not been so inclined for many years but got the urge and thought I would try some again. This gentleman is a participant at a Living History event I attend during the summer. Many people spend a tremendous amount of time and money researching and recreating the persona of individuals from our early history as a country. This one has recreated an Eastern Woodland Indian in a very striking manner. I enjoy these events and all of the unique individuals that attend them. There will be everything from various Native Americans to all facets of the Militaries that were active during the early years of this nation. My wife and I often set up at these events and enjoy doing the school days where school age children come out for a day of hands on history. I portray a Windsor Chair maker and my wife sets up as a spinner, spinning the wool from the Icelandic sheep we raise. 
The painting is 8x10 inches and available for purchase but will not ship until dry and varnished which will be 4-6 weeks. Price is $145

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bright Winters Day

 This is quick little study of a house in town I shot on a bright winter day a couple of weeks ago. There used to be a house here on the south side of this one that a rather strange recluse type of person used to live in. It got rather ran down and some people in town found him a nice little apartment that he moved to and the old place was torn down. He has since passed away, he was a son of a friend of my fathers. On the other side to the north is a large house that a gentleman by the name of Ralph Belts used to live in years ago. I did several paintings of him and will have to find some of those and post them here. I always remember he used to cut his grass with a pair of scissors while wearing one of the hats like workers wore in the rice fields from the vietnam war era.  The house itself was occupied by an eccentric old women while I was growing up that was a good friend of my mothers who shared quite an interest in antique glass. Her house was so full of antiques at the time that even the steps going upstairs were used for storage save a narrow walkway. She had one of the largest collections of glassware around along with a large variety of other items. Strange little corner of town this was! 
The painting is another 8x10 inches, oil on panel and is available for purchase but will not ship until dry and varnished. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Summer Break

    I took a little break from winter yesterday and painted a scene from last summer. Our big old farmhouse is cold on windy days when the temperatures struggle to break into the 20's and I was just plain tired of being cold. I wanted to do something that at least looked warm so I settled on this scene which is the view looking south from our house across a small field and down the road. The reference photos were taken on a misty summer morning early in the year. You can always tell the what part of summer you are in by how green the greens are. While this won't mean much to the average person every landscape artist knows just what I am talking about. The greens of spring are light and vibrant as all of the growth is new and succulent.  As summer wears on the new growth on the plants begins to harden out and the greens darken. By late summer more colors begin to creep into the landscape, The first hint of the coming glory of the fall color starts to appear long before the first cool nights and frosty mornings let us know summer has ended.
   This painting is oil on panel, it is 8x10 inches in size and painted with artist grade W&N oil paints. This piece is available at this time, it is priced at $85.00 but will not ship until dried and varnished which will be about 4 weeks.

Heritage Trail

Heritage Trail is a Water Color of a street scene in Wabash Indiana that I painted recently from several reference photos taken there earlier in the winter. It was a very clear cold day, about 10 degrees F so Plein Air Water Color was not an option. Perry an artist friend and I had went down to see a small show in a new Gallery there in a wonderfully restored Downtown Hotel.  I liked this scene and the play of light on the buildings and hills in the background. I love these towns that have maintained the older storefronts and architectural  details that give them such identity. Wabash was the first city in the country to install electric lighting and they have maintained this heritage throughout with details such as the wonderful lamp posts in this scene.
The painting is on a half sheet of Arches 300 lb Rough Paper and measures about 15 by 20 inches. This piece is sold but prints are still available from Fine Art America just click on the button on the blog. Thanks for looking!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Red House, Gray Barn
Water Color, 7x11 inches on 300 lb Fabrino rough paper

This painting is a water color of the old Teel farm southwest of town. A friend of mine, Greg Hoover had an aunt and uncle that lived here when we were growing up. The house is cement block and had been a weathered gay my entire life until a younger generation of the family moved in and sided it with the red siding. This new color on the house has totally reversed the the traditional norm of a "Red Barn" down on the farm. The barn is showing its age but is still a wonderful example of a "Swiss" or "German" "Overshot" bank barn. It is a large one maybe 80 feet long and 50-60 feet wide. These barns were built with an area for the animals in the bottom and loose hay and grain storage in the top. I have seen 36 inch wide boards in some of those graineries sawn from the old growth Yellow Poplar that was cleared to make way for the farms. These were the some of the most interesting barns while the more common"English" pattern is what was built on most farms. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

South of Town

This is a Water Color of what had been a very nice farm just south of Mentone. Although I prefer to paint landscapes Plein Air this day was just to cold with a strong north wind blowing and snow on the ground to work on location. I took several photos and did this in the studio. The barn is showing its age and the brick how is rumored to be really cold in the winters. Had a friend that lived here years ago and she said the paste froze on the walls one day when she was trying to hang wallpaper. The painting is 11x22 on 300 lb Fabrino Rough paper.

Jan 24 2010

This will be my first post on this blog that I have been trying to get started for about a year now. I am an artist working in Water Color and Oils at the moment. I have always been an artist, memories of drawing are some of my oldest. I was a professional artist once before but then drifted away only to return now at midlife to my paintbox and drawing table. I paint what I know and what I know is the landscape, towns and people of of the midwest where I lived my entire life. I like the light here and the skies, the ever changing skies! Just today with a strong warm front that had come in over night they were wonderful for late January. This time of year it normally either bright and clear or dark and gray with that nasty permacloud that just settles in and refuses to leave. The light of a clear winter day is a sight to behold for an artist as it is unlike the light of any other time of year. Years past I would sometime wait for it to make a subject "just right" for painting. Well enough talk, here are some recent Water Colors.