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

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Winona Lake

  I am getting ready for a show at the Village of Winona Lake Indiana and wanted to have a couple of local pieces for the show. This one is from some reference photos I shot there a couple of weeks ago. I wanted something that said Summer and I think this one does! I like these paintings that make a statement and make you feel the them. I like to look at a painting and feel myself becoming lost in it. Water Colors are such a wonderful medium for work like this, strong yet transparent and bright. If you are in the area I will be at the Village at Winona Art Show June 5th and 6th. There will be a lot of wonderful art by many great artists.

Winona Summer

Water Color, 7x10 inches, painted on Fabrino 300lb Cold Press Paper. Sorry this one is sold. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Some studio work

  I know I should be out painting with this wonderful weather but the schedule around here is crazy right now with school coming to an end so I have been hanging out in the studio getting some work done there.
   This first one is from some reference photos I shot late last winter, I am looking forward to getting back out there and doing some plein air work of this place. Was no doubt quite a house in its time but is pretty well along the road to decline now. I love the blue house against the dull gray of winter. I know it is summer and the world is green again but this one has been burning a hole in mind since I shot the pics and I just had to take a minute and get it out! I love these scenes and the quiet despair in them. Not sure why but they draw me in like a moth to light on a warm summer night. I will be doing more of this place as time goes by, I feel it calling me back.

Up Ft. Wayne Road

  Painting is Water Color, 11x15 inches on Fabrino 300lb CP paper. It will ship upon payment, price is $165.00.

  This next one is from a photo  shot years ago down in southern Indiana over by the Versalles, Friendship area. Could not find it now if I had too and not sure it is still standing. It is an old one room township schoolhouse in late summer with Queen Annes Lace in the field around it. I have never gotten this one painted and ran into it going through some old pics and thought I would give it a try. Every now and then I try to figure out how another artist did something and on this one went after  "Winslow Homer" sky. I was happy with the result and liked the color and depth it portrayed. Thanks for looking and if you have any interest or just questions feel free to email me. 

Lace after School

Water Color , 11x15 inches on Fabrino 300lb CP Paper. Will ship upon payment, price is $155.
To purchase on Etsy click here Lace after School

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Across the Marsh

   Here is another studio piece I did last week of a large marsh west of me about 5 miles near where Deep Creek meets the Tippecanoe river. I would estimate the marsh to be about 90-110 acres in size covering an area that used to be drained and pumped so it could be farmed. There are two large areas like this now in the area that were once farmed and have since been let go back to a more original state. Some of these are strange places with floating bogs where huge trees move when you walk across them while others have seemingly shallow streams that are actually nearly bottomless. These places have more life in them that you can imagine year around. While I was out photographing this one muskrats were swimming by while the frogs are singing and the blue and green herons wade the shallows for an easy meal. These are wonderful places we have done about everything in our power to destroy but they are slowly making a comeback. The barn and silo off in the distance is the same set of buildings as the little painting 19th & Fir. That was painted from the west and this from the north.

 This painting is 11x15 inches on Fabrino 300lb cold press paper and will ship upon receiving payment price is $135.00. To purchase this painting on Etsy click here Across the Marsh.

Friday, May 14, 2010


   I painted this one from some reference photos I had taken of this farm which is now mostly just a memory. This water color is of the front porch of the house which faced north so the original owners would have a cool place to sit during the heat of summer after a day of hard work on the farm. The foliage overhead s from a huge sugar maple in the front yard which is one of 3 mature trees in the yard. There were various fruit trees and others but they are all gone now. These trees are one of greatest things about these old farms and something you just can't get with new construction. Often the trees and flowers are all that is left to tell us where a farm once was. Many times when I am driving down country roads in the spring I will see the bright yellow of daffodils often by an old red pine and know that long ago someones dreams began here. You can imagine a young wife taking a moment out of a busy day to plant flowers as her husband worked the fields of the farm they built with their own hands.
   Well enough nostalgia for now. The painting is 11x15 inches painted on Fabrino 300lb paper. These works are an attempt to capture rural America as it has been before it is all gone and we forget what the little universe that was the family farm truly was. I am sorry this one is sold.  Thanks stopping by my world.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Little Ones

    Here are a couple of little ones from the studio. These were painted from reference photos I took last week out west of Tippecanoe near a large marsh off of the river near Deep Creek. Both are only 5x7 inches in size. I like doing these little ones to work out some of the issues before committing to a large version of a subject. I have painted the Red Door before and keep trying to capture the feeling of that house. The other is a nice farm at the corner of 19th and Fir road in Marshal county. The barn is currently being used for some horses and has several possibilities as subject mater. Thanks for looking!

The Red Door 5x7 Water Color $39.00 Sold

19th & Fir 5x7 Water Color $39.00 Sold

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Little History

  Here is a little Water Color I did over the weekend while painting with my son at a Living History event we were participating in. We attend several of these a year as a family and set up demonstrating early woodworking and spinning wool. My interest in art has started me researching art in early America. I have found that many of the artists were referred to as Limners which I believe to be an English term and worked in the colonies doing portraits of people and homes while others traveled on the frontier and painted this new found land and the plants, animals and native peoples. I think this is something I will try to develop into a demonstration at the least for these events as it is not represented by anyone I have seen at this time and is a very important part of the history of the founding of the country.
  My son and I both painted this 1812 artillery unit that was camped near to us at the Lore of the Laughery. The event is set around the only Revolutionary battle fought in Indiana which was at the mouth of Laughery creek where it meets the Ohio river. Painting is 7x10 inches on 300lb paper. Ethan and I each sold our paintings of this wonderful setting right after they were finished. It was his first sale of his artwork so he was pretty excited.