Often times we are asked why do artists require a nonrefundable deposit to begin an art commission? The answer is simple. Making art and selling art, while a labor of love for most artists, is still a business and the artist’s livelihood. It’s not often, but occasionally someone will decide to cancel a commission; the artist has already spent their time and the cost of materials to begin a commission. Would a contractor updating one’s kitchen or bath start without a deposit?
A reputable artist will meet a few times before starting a commission to ensure that they thoroughly understand the vision for the piece and to set a timetable for delivery. If the client wishes to see the work in progress, the artist will send updates accordingly and make adjustments where appropriate. If the artist hasn’t begun the work, most will refund the deposit to the client.
A working artist must generate income from their work in order to continue to produce work. This would be true for all businesses. There should always be a written agreement between the artist and client as to what is expected and the terms and conditions of the commission.
Women did not get the recognition they deserved until the Women’s Movement in the 1960s. Until 1860, women weren’t allowed to attend art schools or exhibit their work. Much of their work was undervalued and overlooked.
With the beginning of the Women’s Movement in the 1960s, more and more female artists started getting the recognition they deserved.
Here are some of the most influential female artists. There are countless others and we recognize the contributions made by all female artists throughout history to the present day. (Aubrey Santana, Arteza Blog)
Louise Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842)
To be a woman who was a professional portrait artist in the 1700s was unheard of. To be a woman who was the official portrait artist of the Queen of France was unthinkable. Yet, Louise Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun was both of these. Madame Le Brun is best known for her highly flattering portraits of the rich and elite in the Rococo and Neoclassical style. During her life, she created around 660 portraits and 220 landscapes, some of which hang in such famous museums as the Louvre, the Hermitage Museum, London’s National Gallery, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A member of the famous group of male Impressionists, Mary Cassatt became known for her beautiful portrayals of women, children, and domestic life. An American painter who lived in France, Cassatt was inspired by the light, patterns, Japanese printmaking, and the intimacy of family, which can be seen in her paintings and prints. Her paintings are highly prized and hang in private collections as well as in the world’s greatest museums. She has been an inspiration for both male and female painters who came after her.
Georgia O’Keeffe’s art can be seen on everything from famous museum walls to calendars, mugs, and T-shirts. She is probably the most well-known female American artist who ever lived. Proclaimed by several art critics as the “Mother of American Modernism,” her legacy of abstract artwork continues to influence artists of our time. She is best known for her large and provocative flowers and skull paintings, but her work spans as far as American western landscapes to New York City skyscrapers.
During the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, the artwork of Alma Thomas stood out as a beacon of hope and optimism. This African American artist dedicated her life to her art after retiring from teaching for 36 years. Her rise to fame skyrocketed when her colorful Expressionist paintings were exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art and she became the first female African American to hold a solo exhibit there. Her works have hung in the White House and today can be seen at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
The work of Polish artist Tamara De Lempicka stands out as the epitome of Art Deco style. Her self-portraits and women models embody the elegance of an era with a modern twist in their tubular forms. She used clear, lustrous colors in her distinctive portraiture of the wealthy French aristocrats for which she is best known. Today, her work can be seen in prestigious venues as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes in France, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Whenever we talk about famous artists, the name Frida Kahlo is always at the top of the list. Her works capture the culture of her home country, Mexico, while being thought-provoking as examinations of the important questions concerning gender, class, and race, which is just one of the many reasons she remains so popular today. With bright colors and a folk-art, surrealist style, Frida Kahlo created artwork inspired by nature and Mexican artifacts, as well as painting numerous self-portraits and portraits of others. She is considered a major influence by many of today’s contemporary female artists.
Considered a major influence on modern artists, including Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese avant-garde artist best known for her use of polka dots and electric colors. Her works span sculpture, installation, and paintings as well as film, fashion, and literature. A conceptual artist, she infiltrates feminism, pop art, and abstract impressionism into her work.
Faith Ringgold isn’t afraid to address the tough subjects, including feminism, politics, and activism in her colorful abstract paintings, quilts, mixed media sculptures, and children’s books. Her brightly colored works are narrative representations of her beliefs with inspiration from past and present historical events.
Through her use of large, stark black paper-cut silhouettes and drawings, Kara Walker invites viewers of her art into the world of slavery and African history in America. Many of her works portray the brutality of slavery. Although she is best known for her paintings, she is also an influential sculpture, whose monumental work, made entirely of sugar at the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, New York, depicting a black woman as a sphinx, is one of her most important works.
Youth Art Month encourages and supports quality school art programs, throughout the United States. Visual art experiences give students an opportunity to problem solve, create, observe and communicate.
Art and creativity can build skills for success in life. By engaging in artistic activities, children develop confidence and they learn how to innovate. The arts encourage exploration and self-expression.
Creativity is not just for kids! Engaging in arts for older adults can alleviate loneliness and boredom.One feelsmore engaged and focused in the creative process. Studies have shown that art engagement can alleviate anxiety, depression, and stress.
At Whitepine Studios, we offer art opportunities for all ages and abilities. It is our mission to teach art fundamentals in a supportive and relaxed environment. Our painting pARTys provide a social outlet and an opportunity for folks who have never experienced the arts, to spend a couple of hours enjoying the creative process. Our Sound and Art events merge the health benefits of a beautiful sound bath with the meditative benefits of Art. While listening to the soothing, melodic tones of the singing bowls, our patrons are guided to paint a watercolor composition.
“I started painting as a hobby when I was little. I didn’t know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do.” Bob Ross
Faith Ringgold is now 91 years old and has had a long successful career as a black visual artist. Her journey was not always an easy one but she always found a way to move forward. This New York Times article by Holland Cotter, titled Faith Ringgold’s Path of Maximum Resistance is a beautiful recognition of Ringgold’s artistic journey and her legacy in the art world and beyond.
We are honored to have Sue Craig in the Scenes of Winter Exhibition.
Sue is an award winning artist from Chelsea, Michigan. She is attracted to scenes that are soft but expressive. She participates in many plein air events and enjoys painting area homes, parks, and public spaces. Sue’s work has been exhibited in various venues around Michigan and she is a member of several paint guilds. We are thrilled to have four of Sue’s pieces exhibited in the gallery.
With more than 120 lighthouses along the Great Lakes, Michigan has the most lighthouses of any U.S. state. Lighthouses are beautiful and picturesque, and each with their own unique history and charm. Point Betsie Lighthouse is located on the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline. Sue’s oil painting on wood panel captures the charm of one of Michigan’s famous lighthouses. Sue’s pastel pieces Sidetrack Grill II, Sunset Walk, and Garden on the Lake are vibrant in color with beautiful velvety textures.
Excited to feature our next artist exhibiting in the Scenes of Michigan, Winter Exhibition – award winning oil painter Sandra Difazio.
Sandra is a representational oil painter and avid plein air artist. Painting plein air gives Sandra the opportunity to not only see color and light but also feel the environment and attempt to translate what she experiences into her paintings. Her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries, and in private and corporate collections throughout Michigan. She is a member of several paint guilds and we are honored to have Sandra’s work in the gallery.
Tahquamenon Falls is a pure Michigan treasure. Lower Tahquamenon Falls is a plein air painting created as part of the DNR’s “Paint the Parks” Centennial Celebration. It was selected to receive the “Best Sense of Place” Award. The exquisite colors and textures in this painting are a must-see.
Sleeping Bear Dunes is a popular Michigan destination. Sandra’s piece titled Good Harbor Beach, invites the viewer to experience the warm breezes, sunshine, and crisp, clear water that makes our Michigan shorelines so appealing.
Interested in the architectural charm of Michigan’s historic buildings, Sandra was inspired to paint the The Anna Scripps Conservatory at Belle Isle. Belle Isle is one of the most beautiful public parks in the State of Michigan. Sandra captures the intricate details and beauty of this historic building.
Sarah Merkle is a landscape watercolor artist Her artwork captures the unique beauty of Michigan’s spectacular coastlines and sandy beaches. Her paintings created en plein air, enable her to capture the intense and emotive colors of the clouds, natural lighting, and breath taking images that emerge from the unpredictable, ever-changing Michigan weather.
Sarah’s work has been displayed in venues throughout Michigan, including the Art Around Saline Exhibition. She is a member of several painting guilds and also has an extensive background in Graphic Design.
Leelanau Peninsula, one of the most beautiful places in Michigan, is a place of solace and inspiration for Sarah. Her Leelanau Peninsula series, captures the brilliant colors of Michigan’s sunrise and sunsets. These three paintings would look beautiful in a Northern cottage displayed together or individually.
Gallery is open Tues-Friday 10 – 5 pm and by appointment
An award winning artist, Jean derives inspiration from her observation of daily life. Her watercolor still life and landscapes reflect transitions of light and shadow, and express a sense of memory of time and place. Jean’s works can be found in private and public collections and galleries throughout Michigan. She belongs to multiple painters’ guilds and we are thrilled to have a couple of her paintings in the studio.
Rentschler Farm in Saline, often inspires local artists to capture images from this historic site. The sunflowers that burst on to the scene during Michigan summers, invited Jean to paint, en plein air, one of Michigan’s favorite flowers. Look closely at Jean’s piece titled Sunflower, and take in the complex details of the petals or “rays” that inspired its name.
Inspired by a walk through San Francisco’s China Town, Jean just had to paint the colorful and festive lanterns that hung everywhere. February 1, begins the Chinese New Year; this is a great opportunity to stop by the gallery and see Jean’s painting titled, Sky Lanterns 2. Jean captures the intricate but delicate beauty of traditional Chinese paper lanterns. Jean was awarded best of show and sold her piece titled Sky Lanterns 1, at the Northville Arthouse Watermedia Show.
Join us at Whitepine Studios on Saturday morning, January 29th from 10-11:30 am and meet local printmaking artist Dennis Gordon.
Dennis is an award winning artist that creates beautiful limited edition prints from original wood carvings. The photographic process has been part of printmaking for over 50 years, prevalent in photo etching, photo lithography and photo silk screening. Woodcuts are the main exception to this process, although methods of carving have expanded, using tools such as the dremel. Laser etching of wood and other materials has been commonplace in the craft and marketing industry for many years, but generally, the material that is being etched is the end product.
Dennis has been exploring ways to make a wood etching function as a woodcut for printmaking. It has taken him hundreds of hours to learn software applications and experimenting to achieve exciting results. Along with the woodcut image, he works on background imanges that may be abstract or semi-representational, and applies rolled on ink reliefs. The woodcut images begin with a photograph he has taken or from one of his drawings or paintings. While some prints remain black and white, Dennis adds color to others. The process starts with printing the woodcut in black ink. Then a sheet of printmaking paper is laid over this print to help determine where he will apply color. The color is applied to a blank piece of printmaking paper, and then the woodcut is inked up and printed on top of that.
Whitepine Studios and Dennis will be giving away, to our first 50 visitors to the studio, a limited edition “mini woodcut” (retail value $45, one per household).
Dennis will also have materials and supplies to show how he makes his woodcut prints. He will also offer a 5×7 mini woodcut of the same image, to give to anyone who purchases any of his artwork in the studio.
Nancy Murray is a watercolor artist displaying her beautiful works in the Scenes of Michigan, Winter Exhibition.
Nancy has been painting and perfecting her craft for over 15 years. She is inspired by the natural world and her landscape paintings are masterfully created en plein air. Nancy is a member of several guilds and her work can be found in permanent collections and venues throughout Michigan.
Nancy captures the magnificence of nature in her Matthaei Botanicals Garden painting. Her palette of soothing greens, dotted with the soft colors of spring time flowers, entices the viewer to take a walk along the path and enjoy the natural landscape.
Macaws are not native to Michigan, but in 2011 a couple of these breath taking birds made their way to the Detroit Zoo. Nancy was inspired to paint this vibrantly colored bird and brilliantly captures its regal nature.
Nancy has several other original watercolors that capture images of places and flora found throughout her travels in Michigan. Nancy always finds herself with her art supplies nearby; at any moment she might feel inspired to stop and paint.