Monday, November 1, 2010

Debra Smale workshop

Mixed Media Artist – Debra Aalsburg Smale

December 4, 2PM to 4PM – Reservations by November 26th Contact Debra at: for further details

Workshop Outline:

Participants will experiment with focus on the idea of what attracted them to the subject they choose to paint. Focus will be on the approach of not painting specific things, but the idea the shapes, patterns, colors from an image they have selected might represent.

Focusing on the attraction of the idea, can help participant gain a deeper clarity of the images, shapes, colors as the piece evolves.

Participants over the age of 16 are welcome, at any level of experience.

Workshop is limited to 6 participants and will be very interactive.

No Cost

What to bring:

All supplies, in any medium the participant is comfortable with, including a prepared surface to work on, i.e., canvas, paper.

An image that has attracted them and would like to explore

Monday, October 4, 2010

Karen Godfrey featured in the GR Press

karen_godfrey.jpgCreative pursuit: Karen Godfrey is a Grand Rapids artist who uses art to empower others and heal herself. She created this mixed-media assemblage during her recovery from cancer at a time when she could only see out of one eye. Below is another one of her works.

Like many with artistic tendencies, Karen Godfrey pushed her passion for art aside when it came to selecting a career. Instead of going to art school, she earned a master’s degree in social work from Grand Valley State University and worked as a therapist helping her clients “create recovery” from cancer and other challenges. She did this work for five years before realizing she needed to start taking her own advice. “I was telling these people to make art every day,” she said. “I was encouraging them, but I wasn’t doing it myself.” So, she enrolled in an oil painting class and fell in love with the medium. Little by little, she started painting more and meeting with clients less.

In 2003, she took the plunge and opened Art Beat, an art gallery she owned and operated in Grand Rapids until 2008. She featured the work of other artists, taught art therapy workshops and built a community around artwork that told stories about healing and self-reflection.

Her gallery was unique because she didn’t send artists away if the perspective in one of their paintings was off. “What was most important to me is that it had some message,” she said.

Branching out

After five years operating the gallery, Godfrey was ready to make another change.

“I said I was opening the gallery to spend more time on my art, but then the gallery took over,” she said. “And I was spending time promoting other artists more than myself.”

In 2008, Godfrey closed her gallery and moved her art studio to her home, where she has been busy making mixed-media assemblages ever since. Godfrey said she has no regrets about closing her gallery, but misses the Eastown community. “I loved who I was connected with, but I knew I had to do this for myself,” she said. “When I closed the gallery it was my last step to becoming a full-time artist.”

Looking inward

Godfrey said she works in her studio nearly every day and is enjoying the “alone time” she has to create.

“It’s like I’ve given myself permission to be less outgoing and more introspective,” she said. “To do something that is just for myself is difficult.”

Godfrey’s art therapy skills came full circle last spring when she was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma before leaving on a six-week trip to exhibit her work at DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun in Tucson, Ariz. Her doctor cleared her to delay treatment, but Godfrey said she had no idea that doctors would have to remove 75 percent of her right lower eye lid when she returned home. Then, to give her skin graft time to heal, her right eye was sewn shut for five weeks.

During this time, Godfrey created two assemblages exploring vision and shadow themes.

“I had to ask myself, ‘What am I not seeing in my life?’” she said. “Little did I realize ... I wasn’t seeing the good in myself. ... I was not acknowledging that I am gifted.”

Committing to her artwork full time has started to pay off for Godfrey, whose assemblages have been accepted to several galleries, including the Cycling Salamander gallery, just south of Charlevoix.

Godfrey is one of many local artists participating in ArtPrize. Her entry called “Art and Transformation: Healing Traditions Around the World” is on display in the window at the West Michigan Center for Art and Technology on East Fulton Street until Oct. 10.

Her personal transformation into an artist is surprising to some who didn’t recognize her passion for art earlier in her life.

“I didn’t even get good grades in art,” Godfrey said, recalling her high school classes that put more emphasis on life-like drawing skills and less on developing creativity working in other styles and mediums.

But Godfrey felt that compulsion to create that transfixes many who don’t pursue art as a career. Every time she had breaks between college classes or work, she would create art projects.

While it may have saved her time if she had realized she was an artist in bloom back in high school, Godfrey wouldn’t change a thing.

“This all happened for a reason the way it did,” she said. “I’m very thankful for my life experiences.”

Karen Godfrey’s art

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 4
Where: Trinity Lutheran Church, 2700 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids
What’s for sale: Godfrey’s assemblages and paintings, wood carvings, basketry, sculpture, pottery, and more work by other artists.
Where to find: Shop for Karen Godfrey’s art at Fire and Water Art Gallery, 219 W. Main St., Lowell.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Old World Santa

Artist Nancy Wanha just brought in this old world Santa. It's amazing. It's completely handmade. She hand embroidered the quilt that is his cape. She molded the face. She painted the toys. The cape is trimmed in mink and lined with satin. This is one of a kind and totally hand made. Exquisite!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

a fine collaboration

A customer bought 3 of Virginia Wieringa's Leaf Layer collages and our custom Framer Deidre Wingelaar worked her magic to achieve just the look that the customer wanted. These collages will float at the surface of a very deep frame with no glass covering them. it's just what the customer wanted!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Leslie McGlynn-Stougaard

Thursday, September 23 at Fire and Water!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Leslie Stougaard news

Leslie Stougaard is hosting an art event in Lowell - here is the newspaper article to prove it!
Also, she is having an Artist Reception on Sept 23 5-8pm

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Art with a summer flair

These are two new paintings by Virginia Wieringa coming to Fire and Water ART! this week! Stop by and see them in real life! Too late! That was quick, the narrow one sold already!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lisa Wierenga Reception today! LACC

Meet Lisa at an artist reception today from 5-7 p.m. The Chamber offices are on the river directly behind the Flat River Grill.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Girl's Night Out!

Just a few of the visitors who decorated plastic 'hardhat's and made our gallery a destination!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gourd artist Lisa Wierenga

Artist Lisa Wierenga will be the featured artist at the Lowell Chamber of Commerce gallery space from April 17 through June 11, 2010. Artwork will include pastel paintings and hard shell gourd art. Meet the artist at an artist reception April 24 from 5-7 p.m. The Chamber offices are on the river directly behind the Flat River Grill.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nancy Wanha

Nancy Wanha just joined our group and hung some stunning paintings. Come and see for yourself!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

artspan sitefor Kathleen Mooney

This is Kathleen's entry for the ISEA exhibit which will be in Grand Rapids in May. See more of Kathleens' work at this site

a new Kathleen Mooney project- Song of Amergin

Handcarved blocks and handpulled prints for my book project based on the Song of Amergin - The Mystery - The oldest recognized poem of Ireland. Estimated completion date 2011.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kathleen Mooney news

Kathleen Mooney, ISEA announces her "Yellow Dog River" artwork series of paintings and photography has been selected for the Eastbrook Homes "Dreams & Design Home 2010" Spring Interior Design Event & Tour.

Lowell, February 25, 2010 – Kathleen Mooney today announced that her artwork series "Yellow Dog River" has been invited to be showcased in a phenomenal two-day event offering visitors the best in tips and trends in spring decorating & landscaping for their homes. Eastbrook Homes is co-hosting the event with the most recognized national home décor retailer and popular culinary destination. HINT from Kathleen – the initials are PB and WS. This event will take place in the Eastbrook Homes community of West Hamptons (on Fulton near I-96, Grand Rapids) at 216 Tuckahoe Court.

Thursday, March 11 – Talented culinary experts will host an informative demonstration to entertain guests on "Kitchen Essentials." Kathleen Mooney, ISEA will present her "Yellow Dog River" series of paintings and photography from the Yellow Dog River near Marquette, Michigan. Mooney will be available to answer questions about art creation and inspirations from nature. The culinary demonstration will begin at 6:30 p.m. The event is complementary, and will take place from 6-8 p.m.

Saturday, March 13 – A home décor demonstration titled "Spring Decorating Essentials" will take place at 2 & 3 p.m. Attendees will learn creative tips, from local experts that they can apply in their own homes. Kathleen Mooney, ISEA will present her "Yellow Dog River" series of paintings and photography from the Yellow Dog River near Marquette, Michigan. Mooney will be available to answer questions about art creation and inspirations from nature.
Visitors can sample tasty treats and register their names in a decorating gift card drawing.

To attend the March 11 or March 13 events contact Susan Halso at Eastbrook Homes. (616) 988-1342 or email Space is limited for these free events and reservations are strongly encouraged.

Kathleen Mooney, ISEA owns and operates Fire and Water ART gallery and studio at 219 West Main in Lowell Michigan where she enjoys the company of 25 leading local artists. Mooney is a signature member of ISEA the International Society of experimental Artists. Images and information can be found at by calling 616-890-1879.