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

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Show Season

  I will be in North Webster next Saturday the 31st for a one day show and then the following week I will be at Amish Acres in Nappenee starting on Thursday through Sunday. I have been back out in farm country lately painting for these shows. Some of the Water Colors are bright and bold while others are a bit more restrained. It is always a joy to spend time on the side roads in the Amish areas nearby. It is quite peaceful to step back in time a bit to see farming the way it was everywhere 50 years ago. These traditional Water Colors are an opportunity to see the landscape as it was and still is in these unique areas that I seek out as an artist to share with you.

   This first one is of a farm I ran across last week when out looking for painting subjects. While I took some photos a little Amish girl peered around the corner of the house. It was a hazy summer morning that looked more like August or September than July. I could not pass this up with the two buggies parked under the overhang of the old barn and the morning light just beginning to burn through the morning mist with distant trees still blue appearing blue in the morning air. This painting is 11x15 inches, Water Color on 300lb Fabrino CP paper.

      This painting was at a farm that sat right on the end of a"T" road with a wonderful yellow house that is sure to be the subject of a future painting. I took some pictures and the headed down the road only to come back later for more as it was just to good of a place to give up on. Coming at the farm from the east I could see this wonderful yellow bucket hanging under the overshot on this bank barn with the stonewall of the leanto reflecting the wonderful warm light bathing the scene. It was the morning after  a strong weather front had moved through the night before so I was playing tag with the fair weather clouds racing through on the north wind to get the light I wanted. This one too is 11x15 inches painted in Water Color on 300lb Fabrino CP paper. 

    The wonderful scene shown here was just down the road to the east of the previous painting. It is so rare these days to see wheat cut and then shocked up like it had been done for a thousand years waiting in this case to be ran through a threshing machine. We are so accustomed now to seeing the huge combines devour hundreds of acres in a day that a simple scene like this has become a jewel lost in time. In the distance one can see the the chicken house, a small grainery and a long stack of firewood waiting on the winter snow. It is always a challenge to capture the morning light when it is coming right on at you but I was quite happy with this effort. Water Color, 7x10 inches on Fabrino 300lb CP paper. 

     This last little one is a quick sketch to help me work out some of the problems as I prepare to do it on a much larger scale. It is these treats one finds while shuffling around the countryside that keeps me going out day after day. This old handcart full of flowers sitting by a white barn awash in the light of a summer morning is what gets my heart racing. To do this scene justice will take a much larger sheet of paper and some time but the end result will be worth every minute I spend with brush in hand and just pondering how to make it all work. Again Water Color, 5x7 inches on 140lb paper. 

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