Involving My Community In My Art

Sometime last week, I asked someone who posted a picture in the Traverse City Community Facebook page called Overheard in Traverse City if I could use her photo as a reference for one of my paintings. This is the photo that she posted:

I was so awed by the heavy clouds looming over the water and how perfectly placed the elements in the photo were. I always look for depth and contrasts in color whenever I’m looking for reference photos and this one was just perfect.

Here is what I came up with:

This gave me an idea. I decided to post a request in the Overheard in Traverse City page for some good photos of Traverse City and surrounding areas. I’ve posted a similar request before, when I was asking for references for my coloring book called The Traverse City Coloring Book Project. Yet again, my community did not fail me! I’ve been getting reference photos for days now! I found some really amazing ones, too!

I also like to ask people on Instagram if I could paint the photos that they post and they usually get excited. Here’s another one of my paintings which was from a photo of two boats on Lake Michigan:

After posting the finished painting, someone sent me a message on Facebook asking if he could buy the painting because he owns the Liberty! Also, he wanted to know if he could buy one of my Esch Road Beach paintings. I told him I could paint one for him because those paintings were no longer available. The Esch Road Beach is one of my most popular subjects because lots of people have proposed or had their wedding there.

I love getting involved in my community even if it’s just through social media. It amazes me how Art can connect people in such a special way. I have had people message me about how my pet portraits brought tears to their eyes.

Art elevates us as a people. I love what I do and I plan on doing it for as long as I can!

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