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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hoping for Spring

   Here is a little series of an 8x10 oil I did earlier this week. I am experimenting with a split primary palette and think I like it. This is my first painting with it and I think it adds a certain "unity" to the work that I have been looking for. With just 6 colors on the palette (a warm and cool of each of the 3 primaries) and white it is also quite simple. Thanks for looking!

This is the start of the painting where I am just blocking in some primary items and the strongest light and dark.

Here I have the background pretty well in place and ready to put the foreground over it. For me this system seems to work the best when I am painting wet on wet while trying to abide by the "fat over lean" principle. 

Here is the finished painting, This is a view behind my house looking west toward the pond and creek. The painting is 8x10 inches oil on panel. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Getting Ready

   Here are some new pieces I have been working on in the wood shop. None of these have finish on them yet but I thought I would put them up. Included a few in stages as I carved them. Thanks for looking!

  Here are some candle boxes all joined up and waiting to be finished up. 

This one I finished up as a "Don't Tread On Me" box. 

A close up of the lid. 

This one I did as a  Revolutionary War box with the year it started on one side, the year it ended on the other and thirteen stars. 

One side all finished up!

Other side finished. 

One of the ends.

Here is the finished box that just needs some stain. The wood I used is sassafras, it has a real nice grain and carves very well with sharp tools. 

This is a spoon rack made out of Tulip Poplar. 

This is my shop cat Twitch, I am starting to carve the Eagle on a wall box out of Pine. 

Here I have one wing roughed out, the Eagle is attached to my carving board with screws from behind. 

Here I have most of the bird relieved and roughed in. 

Some detail coming in lower section. 

Most of the feathers laid in and the shield is done.

Pretty well finished up now it just needs a box to go with it!

Box joined up and the bottom getting ready to go on. 

Ready for some finish. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Little One

  This little series shows this oil study coming together as I painted it today. I intend to work this scene up into a larger painting at a later date. This is the coal feed to Logansport Municipal Utilities. I just these industrial scenes when you can find a good one.

This is an oil on panel, 6x8 inches. If you are interested in this painting you can buy it on Etsy by clicking Etsy

Monday, March 7, 2011


  Here is the a photo of the plow plane I use for cutting the rabbets (grooves) in boards when I am making boxes. This is for a candle box circa 1750 and will be made from cherry. The plane is an Ohio Tool Company and was made in the 1880's. It is a nice user and one of my favorites. I know this can be done faster with modern equipment but this tool is quiet, dustless and very efficient for the job at hand.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


   Well after several days of working in the shop I finally got my new annealer ready to test run. I built this out of some parts from a kiln I bought on ebay and new insulation to make it as energy efficient as possible.  It needed to be large enough to handle a days work from the furnace which I hope it is! The interior is about 23 inch cube so with a shelf it will hold quite a but of work. The control is form the kiln and seems to work real well based on the the little test run I did today. Here are some pictures of it during construction.

This is the beginning, the frame is angle iron I welded up to keep it nice and strong. The bottom is from the kiln I disassembled and sits on a layer of the 1900 degree insulation board that is on the sides. 

Here I have the salvaged brick from the kiln in place and the elements in the grooves with a spare still laying inside by the drill. You can see the layer of Frax which is a ceramic blanket that is between the brick and insulation board. 

Here we are getting close to having the main structure together. I used the top of the kiln as my ceiling and put more insulation over it. The brick and the top and bottom form the old kiln will add a lot of thermal mass to the chamber which will make it cool down nice and slow which is good for the glass. 

Here the shop cat is hanging out inside of it! there is a small heater on  the wall opposite the opening and he likes the warm spot. I have the frame in the opening now and about finished. 

Here is the wiring in the control and out to the elements and thermal couple. 

Another view of the control.

Here is the finished machine! A little heavier than I would have like but I will get it where it goes and that should be it. Onto the Glory Hole next and I am done building the glass shop!