About Me

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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

Monday, April 26, 2010

Four in a Row

   Light was good tonight right at the end of the day so I had to go out and paint. I saw a backhoe near the farm I had been painting recently and I know what that means so I thought I would see what was left. Several of the trees were gone and they were working there way in toward the buildings so I found something I liked and went after it.
  It is hard to do these end of the day pieces with a setting sun on a clear evening. I tried to lay it out fast and get the shadow lines set before they shifted to much more or the lights and darks changed all together. Working as fast as I could I blocked in the colors while trying to hold out the highlights which is your only shot with water color. I prefer good brushwork over a resist or going back in with an opaque white when everything is done.
  I caught most of what I wanted but was a little light on the contrast between the light and dark areas. I have the house, smokehouse, summer kitchen and garage in this one. I am going to miss this place, it has become a good friend the past year and will live on in my mind and paintings. It is fun to imagine these farms when they were the center of a families world, the sound of children running to the barn, the animals everywhere, Chickens clucking and scratching across the yard. The smell of blossoms on the apple trees and supper coming from the open kitchen window....

    Well back to the painting, it is another small one 10 inches wide and 7 inches high painted on 300lb Fabrino CP Paper with Winsor & Newton Artists Water Colors. Price is $125. Thanks for looking!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Morning Fun

Here is a couple from this morning, not paintings as much as experiments with the wonderful medium of Water Color exploring its many personalities. These are familiar sites to those that follow my work as they are painted from our front yard. I am always trying to learn more about this medium and it is through sessions like this I try to expand my knowledge. By doing exercises like this I have an opportunity explore the medium rather than try and capture the scene, if a painting results it is just all the better. Both of these came out pretty good in there own right so I am going to post them here.

  They are both about 7x10 inches and painted on 300lb Fabrino cold press paper with Water Colors.

Here is the second one. To buy on Etsy click here Sunday Morning

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

From This Morning

     These two are from this mornings outing a few miles south of where I live. I had scoped both of them out a few days ago when I paint the barn while on my way back home.
   This one is looking east right into the morning sun from county line road down by 700 south on the Kosciusko county side. I liked the distant farm structures highlighted by the morning light and the softness of that light due to the dust in the air from the dry conditions and all of the farm work going on in the area. I love this time of year before everything turns really green which becomes tiring by summers end. The painting is 11x15 inches on Fabrino Cold Press 300lb Paper. Price is $135 and will ship upon receiving payment. You can buy it on Etsy by clicking here Etsy

This second one was done about a mile to the west and about 1 1/2 miles to the north along 875 east Fulton county. If you dig through some of my old posts you might find the winter version of this scene which I painted in the studio. Nothing is like being out there with the light streaming across the land and the sounds of spring all around you. It is mornings like this you know why you go to all of the trouble to paint Plein Aire!
  Painting is 11x15 on 300lb Fabrino Rough Paper. Price is $145 and the painting will ship as soon as payment is received. Thanks for looking. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Water Color Morning!

  It was a little chilly out this morning and the light was not real stable but I could not resist the pull of the new Water Color box and made my way out to a nice barn in Fulton county. I wanted to catch it while backlit by the morning sun which meant facing east which was right into the wind. Not to bad until the sun went under the clouds and then it really cooled off!
   This a later barn, probably from 1920 or so as it has narrow horizontal siding a frame structure visible through its open door indicative of the later barns. These barns do not age as well as the earlier ones as the siding is thinner and more prone to failure exposing the critical frame members to the elements. 
  The painting is 11x15 inches on 300lb Fabrino Rough paper. This painting is sold. I am including a couple of shots here during the painting here on the blog. Enjoy! If you like to purchase painting on Etsy you can click here Up the Hill

  You can see in these three progression shots how much the light changed while I was on site doing the painting. It is these challenges and the enjoyment of being right out there in nature painting that keeps a Plein Aire artist coming back for more.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Water Color Box!

  Here is a shot of my new Water Color box I just finished up with my son and dog on its first outing. We were doing a quick one of the neighbors house on a very windy morning but beautiful spring morning. The box will do 1/4 sheets of water color paper which is about 11x15 inches for you non water colorists and hold all of the needed items for painting and hold several extra sheets of paper in the lid.

Here is a closer shot of the box itself, showing most of what I carry in it. A water color box is far different than the oil painting box I normally use which I will post sometime later. 

Here are a couple of little water colors I did this morning with my new box. They are both 1/8 sheet (7x11 inches) on Fabrino 300lb rough paper. Both were painted on location on our place this morning. The first was looking east out across the fields in the morning light and the second was back along the creek that splits the property the house is on in two pieces. 

Freshly Plowed a water color on Fabrino 300lb paper. 7x10 inches $55.00 Here is the a link to the listing on Etsy if you are interested in purchasing, Buy on Etsy

Clear Waters, water color on 300lb Fabrino rough paper, 7x10 inches, price $75.00

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Two From Yesterday

  Here are couple of more paintings from near my house. They were both done on location in oils on a beautiful spring day! This first one is of a small pond in the woods behind the house and is 8x10 inches on a archival canvas panel. It is priced at $90.00 Sold.

This second one is another view of the house to the south of ours except done in the evening light from a different angle. I worked on it until dark in a cold wind that would not give up. Love the evening light but when it goes it goes. In the morning it changes but you can still work from memory but at night it is just over! I could here the deer snorting at me from in the the woods nearby while I was painting. I love being out there with nature right with you through the whole process. Thanks for stopping by for a look. 
  This painting is 9x12 oil on archival canvas panel. Price is $125.00, sold.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Plein Aire!

  Well I have wrapped up the syrup season and am back out painting. Got two finished up yesterday, one in the morning and another last night. There is nothing like being out there trying to get that scene down on canvas before the light changes and everything is gone.
  This first one was from yesterday morning, I went out across the road and picked a scene looking south with nice morning spring light setting off the buildings in the distance. It is always the light that makes the scene, everything else is just supporting characters. The painting is 9x12 inches, oil paints on canvas panel. Price is $125

The second one here is from last night, I debated quite some time about even going out because the light was up and down with the front moving through and I was not certain I could get a painting done before it would change again. The sky got very interesting though and it lured me out. I was glad I did because while things were on the move across the sky the light remained fairly stable I was happy with the painting. It is 8x10 inches, oil on panel, painting is sold.