My Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

My Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

Historic Perservation, New Art, News
The birth home of a truly great American Last year, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day, I painted this portrait of the Atlanta, Georgia home where the great orator, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and leader of the American civil rights movement was born. I wanted to pay my respect and celebrate his life and legacy the best way I know how — with my paintbrush.   Martin Luther King Jr. (originally named Michael Jr.) was born on the second floor of this clapboard Victorian house on January 15, 1929, and he lived there for the first twelve years of his life. His home was a happy one, and he once said, “I grew up in a family where love was central and where lovely relationships were ever present.” Located…
Read More
The Joy of Living in a Historic Neighborhood

The Joy of Living in a Historic Neighborhood

Historic Perservation, Historic Preservation, New Art, News
Painting a local bookstore and cafe. Just two blocks away from our home, sitting right on the edge of Benton Park with a tranquil view of the lake from the outdoor patio, is Spine Bookstore and Café. [caption id="attachment_32691" align="aligncenter" width="1483"] The latest painting in my Benton Park neighborhood series, Spine Bookstore & Cafe[/caption]   I has provided a nice walkable respite for me when I need a break – and a good coffee.  One can often find the owner, Mark Pannebecker, behind the bar and he is always good for a yarn and a laugh. In the evenings, Spine offers open mic, live music, book readings and poetry and you can grab a beer, wine or one of their cocktail specials. In fact, Spine was voted Best Indy Bookstore…
Read More
Featuring a Historic Preservation Hero!

Featuring a Historic Preservation Hero!

Historic Perservation, Historic Preservation, News
Highlighting the woman behind the transformation of a historic Grand Rapids MI Church into a community art center [caption id="attachment_30664" align="alignright" width="491"] The painting of what will become a vibrant art center on Hermitage and Diamond in the East Hills neighborhood[/caption] This is a project I am honored to be involved in: the ongoing transformation of a once vacant and crumbling historic church which is now being turned into a vibrant art center that the entire Grand Rapids community can enjoy. Just over a year ago, I created this painting of the church at 1009 Hermitage St SE in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids, in support of the renovation efforts.  My painting depicts how the church will look when fully completed, freshly painted, a new roof and restored windows…
Read More
A Happy Ever After Story of a Home. . .

A Happy Ever After Story of a Home. . .

Historic Perservation, House Portraits, News
From train wreck to grand painted lady! I get to meet a lot of great houses with my occupation, but I also have the pleasure of meeting many wonderful homeowners. This is one such homeowner in Wilmette, Illinois. The beginning of their “once upon a time’ story was July 7, 1995, when Tim and his wife Pam took on a dilapidated Victorian built in 1893. The home had unfortunately been stripped of virtually all its charming Victorian “gingerbread” features. And like others who tackle such a herculean task, the couple battled through whatever was thrown at them to make their home beautiful once more – while bringing up a family at the same time. Here's how their home looked when they purchased it.  [caption id="attachment_31468" align="aligncenter" width="500"] The forlorn looking…
Read More
Meet me in St. Louis … the house that was

Meet me in St. Louis … the house that was

Historic Perservation, News
The sad demise of a historic beauty . . . Most of us know the famous song, "Meet me in St. Louis" sung by Judy Garland. It's the theme song of the movie of the same title which was released in 1945. Being that I am now here in St. Louis, I decided I had it was time to get in the swing of things so I watched this old classic. It's hard to imagine life actually being the way it is depicted, but never-the-less it was certainly entertaining. The movie is based on author Sally Benson's collection of short stories which she wrote for The New Yorker. Benson's maiden name was Smith, and she wrote about her life on Kensington Avenue, St. Louis in the late 1800s and early 1900s.…
Read More
Update: Historic Grand Rapids Church Transforming into Art Center

Update: Historic Grand Rapids Church Transforming into Art Center

Historic Perservation, Historic Preservation, News
This is a project I am honored to be involved in: the ongoing transformation of a once vacant and crumbling historic church which is now being turned into a vibrant art center that the entire Grand Rapids community can enjoy. Just over a year ago, I created this painting of the church at 1009 Hermitage St SE in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids, in support of the renovation efforts.  My painting depicts how the church will look when fully completed, freshly painted, a new roof and restored windows with all the original stained glass beauty fully in tact once more.  At the time I lived only a few blocks away from the church. A couple of weeks ago, a Grand Rapids friend asked me how the project is coming…
Read More

An Artistic Celebration of the United States

Historic Perservation, News
When I set the goal for myself of painting homes in all 50 states, it was like a love letter to my adopted country. As many of you know, I am a native of New Zealand, but when I visited the United States, I felt completely at home and fell in love with the people, the geography, history and its architecture. I hope you enjoy this video which shows my journey through America and all the effort and commitment it took to fulfill my mission! [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FYwdawUE9o[/embed] If you would like to learn more about my 50 States project, you may be interested in my book, Hand Painted Homes: An Artist's Pen & Watercolor Journey Across America, available on my website and Amazon (links below). Hope you all have a very…
Read More
Hot off the Easel:  Vibrant Community Series Old Town Lansing, Michigan

Hot off the Easel: Vibrant Community Series Old Town Lansing, Michigan

Historic Perservation, New Art, News
My brand new technique to show off lively historic communities. These are the first three paintings in this series where I am exploring new techniques and mediums. Old Town Lansing, Michigan, and its artsy historic vibe, inspired me to explore its interesting urban vistas and along the way I discovered some enticing nooks and crannies. Introduction to Old Town Lansing: Lansing, the capital city of Michigan, was incorporated in 1859 and the city was formerly a major center of the automobile industry. The historic homes and neighborhoods around the city tell the story of its rich past. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Old Town Lansing is located in the northern end of Lansing.  It overlooks the Grand River and a winding walking and biking trail.  The district was established in the mid-19th…
Read More
Celebrating Victorian Era Architecture

Celebrating Victorian Era Architecture

Historic Perservation, House Portraits, News
Happy Birthday Queen Victoria! Today we celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria, who was born on May 24, 1819.  She became queen at the tender age of 18 and gave the Victorian era its name. During her six-decade rule she was responsible for the creation of the British Empire, becoming one of Britain’s most famous monarchs. Description of Victorian Architecture Victorian architecture is an over-riding term that describes the many ornate architectural styles that came into being during Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 to 1901. Likewise, the Victorian era of architecture includes several different styles, including Gothic Revival, Greek Revival, Shingle, Second Empire, Folk Victorian, Romanesque Revival, Queen Anne and Italianate style. The Victorian era is marked with decorative details and ornamentation, rejecting the practical simplicity of previous architectural eras.…
Read More
Announcing the First of my Industrial Architecture Painting Series

Announcing the First of my Industrial Architecture Painting Series

Historic Perservation, New Art, News
The Rugged Beauty of Industrial Architecture As I travel across the country -- whether through cities or out in the wilderness -- I am becoming increasingly aware of the remnants of America’s industrial architecture and have been inspired by the rugged beauty of their forms.  After all, at the root of this country’s progress over the last two centuries, were the factories built to produce needed goods – from the finest linens to firearms -- for a rapidly growing nation. I have just completed the first three paintings in this series. As you can see, the technique I use is a far cry from the fine detailed pen and watercolors of my signature house portraits, Iconic American Architecture series and more. This first pair of original paintings evolved from various…
Read More