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, December 18, 2011

A little one from last week

   A little water color from last weekend as I start to warm up the brushes for an all out art assault in the coming weeks as I prepare for a Gallery show that begins mid January.

Friday, December 9, 2011

One from the engraving bench today

    I did this little Rough Rider Hunter style knife today. I like this style because of the large bolsters that give me a lot of area for engraving. These knives are imported but have nice fit and finish and a snappy lock on the blade. I have it listed on Etsy if you are interested, click here to see it. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Eagle Knife

    Well today was my last show of the year so I am going to concentrate on filling some orders now and this is one of them. I started this knife last week and finished it up and am now working on a mate to it for a customer. This is an all Stainless Buck Gentlemans knife and they engrave pretty nice and give you a little more canvas to work with than the similar Case model. I engrave both the Buck and Case knives and normally let the subject somewhat decide which knife I choose. The reverse side of this one has the same scrolls and a banner with a name on it in place of the Eagle. Thanks for checking out my work and if you are interested in something for Christmas you need to get in touch with me real soon!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bird Box

  I did this box for a holiday show at a gallery in Indianapolis and thought I would include some shots of it as it was engraved. The box itself is from TDC and is a copy of an early american tinder box in Nickel Silver. The box measures about 3 1/2 inches by 2 3/8 inches. The fist shot shows it with just drawing on and then some as the cutting progresses. It is mounted to my engraving ball for engraving under my scope so I can see to cut the detail. Entire scene was cut with an engraver sharpened to 116 degree universal Lindsey point. Thanks for looking!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Flower Pendant

   Here is one I just finished up tonight for the event at Battleground and Prophetstown this weekend. It is the 200th anniversary of the battle there which occurred on November 7th 1811 and was probably the first major battle of the war of 1812. It was a major clash of cultures and resulted in heavy losses to the Native American forces that day. Pendant is nickel about 2 inches in diameter and formed into a slight dome.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hand engraved vintage Case XX knife

  Finished this one up today at the engraving bench. A real nice Case folder I found at a flea market this summer that I dressed up with some hand engraving on the bolsters. These small spaces to work on pose a challenge for the engraver to find a good design that fits the knife. I was happy with the way this one turned out. If you are interested in it you can learn more about it on my Etsy site here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Something new for the Holidays

   Here is something new for the Holidays! This is a hand engraved ornament to hang on your tree or in your favorite window. I hand engraved this design into a solid nickel silver disc, bird on one side and "NOEL" and 2011 in old english script. A one of a kind art ornament that can be purchased from my etsy site by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Man of the Moon

  Here is a pendant I did yesterday while at the engraving bench. It is cut in solid copper and about 2 inches in diameter. I saw the face in a book on engravings from the late 19th century and dressed it up a little and added the star border. I cut this all with a tool ground to the 116 degree Lindsey universal point. If you are interested in the piece here is a link to it on my Etsy site Pendant.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Little Hinged box.

   I guess I would have to say this is another in my Eagle series of boxes. This one is a bit different with a hinged lid and is in steel not nickel or brass. It is a traditional style of early box often used to carry a flint and steel or tobacco. The Eagle is from a piece done in the 19th century with some additions to the border and few other changes. I left the area at the bottom in case a new owner might like their name there on a banner or some other decoration. You can see more about it on my Etsy site here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Little Bit Of Sunshine

  Here is an engraved box along a little different and folksy fun direction. I put a happy early Sun on the domed lid of this one to bring a little sunshine wherever it goes! This is a small box about 1 5/8 in diameter and 3/4 tall. If you are interested it is on etsy here Brass Sunbox. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Another Eagle!

  This is a larger Nickel Silver box that I engraved an Eagle patterned after an example from the 1700's on. The box is from TDC and is about 2 3/4 inches in diameter and makes a really nice basis for some art! You will notice the proportions of the bird are a little off but that is quite common with these early works. The animals are always somewhat stylized and leaning towards the folkart side of things. I cut all of this one except the knick and dot border with a 116 degree tool, used a 130 on the border.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Eagle Box

  This engraving was done on one of the small TDC cap or pill boxes in German Silver. It was all cut by hand using a small hammer and chisel. It is about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Sorry this one is sold.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Buck 110

   Here is the latest knife I have engraved. These are a real nice knife for engravers as the bolsters are large and made of solid brass not castings. Knife is about 4 1/4 inches long closed with a 3 inch blade for an overall open of 7 1/4 inches. I made this design up just for this knife and felt it was a good fit to the bolsters. If you are interested in purchasing this knife please check out my Etsy site at Etsy. Thanks for looking.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chair Season

  It is chair season in the shop right now and I am building furniture instead of painting. This is a pair of Connecticut style Doublebacks with Knucklearms. They are about the highest class chair I make and my personal favorite. They will be given a coat of red milk paint as soon as the Crest Rail in on and the two coats of dark green. Second shot is a stanley 113 circular plane I use to finish up the Crest Rails.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Twitch the Kitten

  Here is a little one from last week of one of our barn/shop cats when he was just a kitten. He and his brother were just fuzzballs with eyes and a tail when we got them. they would hide in the feed room and have nothing to do with us but now you cant get rid of them when you are outside and they will just drive you crazy with their attention. 5x7 watercolor on 140lb Fabriano paper.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Silver Flower

  Here is a pendant I cut in nickel silver yesterday. I enjoy a variety of work as this blog shows and I hope it inspires others to try various forms of art in their lives. I like to believe a little art is everywhere in our lives and we just have to reach out and find it. I got his idea from another engraver and mixed some different elements he was using into a new combination. A lot of engraving in the traditional style like this is built on the work of others that engrave before you, sometimes centuries before you. I like to find good designs and then work with them to fit my own style. This particular flower shows up in many places including the grip cap on early black powder pistols from the 1700's. The pendant is about 1&1/2 inches in diameter and is available for purchase at Etsy. Thanks for looking and I hope the variety of my work inspires you to create!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Something old something new!

  Years ago I dabbled in metal engraving and recently found myself drawn back to this wonderful art form. I have been doing several commercial pocket knives and lately and this is the latest one shown here. It is a Buck 120 lock back folder. I laid out the design with a .03mm mechanical pencil directly onto the knife and then cut the design onto the metal using a graver. This is all done under some pretty strong magnification as my eyes do not seem to be getting any younger! I will try and post some more shots os a piece in progress to better show what I am doing for those not familiar with the process. You can purchase this knife from me on Etsy by going here Etsy

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

One from yesterday

  This is the newest rooster on the farm a lovely Barred Rock we raised from a chick this spring. Painting is a little one at 5x7 inches and painted on 140lb Fabriano paper in watercolor.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Some new ones

  Sorry I have not posted in a while but real busy with shows and the rush of summer! Here are a couple of new ones. Both are 1/8 sheet size so they are about 7x10 inches in size and painted on 300lb Fabriano paper. The rooster will develop into a larger painting soon and the cat might too not sure yet. Both are residents here at the farm. We have some new chickens this year and I have been getting some shots of them to start working from. They just move to much for me to do much of them painting from life. Hope you enjoy these!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


   This is a watercolor from two weeks ago I did for the Hoosier Salon art show in Indianapolis Indiana. It is some of my favorite subject matter which is small town life in the rural parts of the country. This one is of a street scene from Akron Indiana at the main intersection in town. One of the few small town pharmacies left in the area it is a bit of a landmark. I did this in the studio from some shots I took last winter as I always like the winter skies and the contrast of the blinking sop light. It is painted on a half sheet of Fabriano cold press 300lb paper and will be available once I know if it is in the show or not, at least one of the two paintings I entered got in and I have not yet been notified which one. Thanks for looking!

   A little footnote to this painting, it is the one that got in the Hoosier Salon. This is the first piece of art I have ever gotten into this show.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A couple from this week.

   I am in the middle of the art show season now so I am working whenever I can trying to keep new items ready for the shows. These two were done in the studio this week as I try and build up my small painting inventory. The first is of a small farm now sitting empty and the other other of a wonderful brick house that has painted white as long as I can remember and just glows in the morning light. A perfect setting with the hayfield leading up the hill to it. Both are about 7x10 inches in size and water color.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dairy Cows

   This Water Color is of some dairy cows from a farm over by Crystal Lake. I like cows but trying to find a herd that is pastured on grass anymore. This is a pretty good sized dairy farm for our area and grazes their cows on several different pastures and raises a lot of hay. I liked all of the dandelions in this one and the look of the cow staring right at me when I took the photo I worked from in the studio.
    Painting is about 7x11 and painted on 300lb Fabriano CP paper with artist grade water colors. It is going to a show this weekend and might show up on Etsy later. Thanks for looking!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summers Coming!

   Another one in the quest to loosen things up a bit! Boats and water are always good to loosen up the water colors and I think I got out of this subject what I was looking for. Water Color is always a struggle between to much and not enough! I read somewhere what makes a good painting is often what you do not put in it. I had gotten a couple of new brushes this week and I love them both. This painting and some others were the tryouts for them. I have been hunting a good brush that could do an entire painting and think I have found what I was looking.
   This painting is based on a photo I took last summer on Lake Wawasee in northern Indiana. It is the states largest natural lake. It is about 7x11 inches and painted on 300lb Fabriano CP paper. Thanks for looking.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Two Hens Watching

   This is a small water color I did today in the studio of some of my chickens that free range around the farm. These hens were hanging out down by the barn and I was out taking photos of them after putting out a little feed for them so they would hang around while I got the pictures I wanted. Chickens lend themselves so well to water color and it is the perfect medium for them. I had laid out a much larger painting today but with the wild weather that appeared to be coming in I was afraid I would get interrupted with fire Department duties so I did not start the paint on it. Success with Water Color is often dependent on how well you control the moisture on the paper and that requires an uninterrupted painting session until you reach the point where a complete dry out will not effect what you trying to make happen. With oils you paint the entire painting but with Water Color you paint some of it and some of it you make happen or let happen depending on how you look at it. the best water colors almost paint themselves. I always tell people to approach the medium as a coach not a king.
   Painting is about 7x9 inches in size and painted on 300lb Fabriano CP paper with artists grade paints. Painting is sold. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Quick little study

   This is just a quick little study for a larger painting. The subject is a small stream in southern Indiana deep in limestone country. Painting is 5x7 and done quickly to try and keep loose and be more about the color than the detail.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Winona Lake Study

   This is a little study that will become a much larger painting for an upcoming art show I will be doing on June 4th and 5th. This is of a footbridge over the canal and is just a wonderful little piece of spring color and light. This is a small painting only 5x7 inches in size but is where I work out the issues for the larger one that is coming. I get to try things out here and see what I like and what I don't and make mental notes of changes for the larger painting. Hope to see you at the show!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Something Hot

   Well it was a chilly spring weekend here in northern Indiana so we fired up the big glass furnace and made a little heat of our own. I have been trying to get all of this together for quite some time and finally decided it was time to just get it going. I finished up some small tools I needed to work the glass while things were coming up to temp and just after lunch on Sunday Ethan and I pulled the first gather of glass from the new furnace. It has been about 30 years since I had a blowpipe in my hands with hot glass on the other end so it took a while to get things going but in the end it all worked out. here are a few of the sun catcher/ornaments that we made that day. They are about 3-4 inches in diameter and are available at my Etsy site by clicking here

Friday, May 13, 2011

Something Cool

    I did this water color in the studio today to take a little break from the sudden warmup in our spring weather. Sometimes a nice winter scene is just what is needed to cool off. This is a new of the Wetzel farm down the road from my house. Two of the buildings in the picture are gone now as is part of the tree in the front yard. I love this farm and have many photos of it to work from before it was "cleaned up". I love the last light of the day in late winter and the way it lights things up.
   This little water color is about 7x11 inches, painted on 300lb Fabriano CP paper with artist grade watercolors. If you are interested in the painting it can be purchased on Etsy by clicking here Etsy

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pair of Ducks

  Another in my small wonder series, this one is of a pair of ducks that live with my chickens. They were leftovers from the 4H Fair duck selections a few years ago and just hang out here on the farm now. The male duck on the right is a real character and drives Chip the farm dog crazy. Whenever he can catch Chip off guard he will nip him in the butt so the dog does not like him at all.
   Painting is 6x8 inches, oil on canvas panel and will not ship until dry which will be about 4 weeks from posting. If interested you can go to etsy by clicking here Etsy

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Little One

I have been fighting a bad cold this week so I painted this one from my back door yesterday. It is of a large Sugar Maple tree behind my house. I am trying to get a better feel for the colors of spring without letting tht sudden rush of green overwhelm my paintings. I am starting a new series of "Small Wonders" that this is part of to try and bring original artwork to more people. I am selling these small ones for $49 with free shipping on etsy. You can click here to go there Etsy.
   This one is 5x7 inches so it will fit almost anywhere and is oil on a canvas panel but cannot ship until dry which will be about four weeks from the time of posting.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Revisiting the Spring Pasture

    Today I was stuck in the studio due to more rain and got out the Water Colors to have a little fun and thought I would the pasture again. Here is the Water Color I painted from the same reference photo I had taken with my phone during another rainy day last week. I like the liteness of the Water Color in landscapes such as this. the painting is 5x7 inches on 300lb Fabriano CP paper.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday Plein Aire

   Here is a little one I got in tonight while out painting with my son. We were on one of the trails in a 49 acre tree planting we have where the trees are 15 years old this spring. The singing birds were wonderful while we painted. Light was a little flat but we did the best we could with it.
  This is an oil on canvas panel, 8x10 inches and will be for sale on Etsy soon if yo are interested. Thanks for stopping by to take a look. I put in a shot of the location to so you could see what I was seeing while doing the painting.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Pasture

   This is an oil from the studio today as the wind and rain just made painting outside about impossible. I love this pasture with the stream flowing through it and the bright greens of spring contrasting with the dark rainy skies. the cows are just an added bonus and seemed to be quite content with the tender spring grass. Oil on canvas panel, 9x12 inches.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Little Red Wagon

   Here is a new Plein Aire for a new outdoor painting season. I admit to having stayed in the studio so far this year but decided to get out and paint today while we had a little sun before the next rain storm moves in tonight. I through a couple of shots while I was painting it. The painting is 8x10 inches, oil on canvas panel.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Defender and Supplier

   This painting is from some reference photos I took at the Air Museum section of Grissom Air Force base. I intend to work up a couple of real paintings involving some of the planes there. This study is of their B17 which is on the Historical Register and painted like the Memphis Belle, in the background is C147 "Gooney Bird". The Gooney was the freight car of the skies during the war and a legend flying "over the hump" into China supplying the troops fighting through the jungles.
   This painting is 9x12 inches and in oil, it is further exploration into the split primary palette. I am finding i like this group of colors and the unity they are bringing to my paintings.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


  This painting is of a small garden pond an artist friend of mine has near one of his wifes flower gardens. I went ahead and posted some progress shots of it as well. I think I will be working this up into a larger painting later on. This one is 8x10 oil on a pretoned canvas panel.