Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"Birds" Continues with the Promised Introduction

to Michelle Morlan and Her Work

Starting with the name of her Etsy Shop: Sparrow Foot Stamps, its "logo," and her favorite colors, sky/water aqua blues, Michelle's interest in incorporating nature into her art is obvious.

Her love of art ("I have always done art,") started early, fostered and encouraged by a supportive and artistic Grandmother. "I loved going to her house, it smelled like art!" (Her Grandmother was first and foremost an oil painter.) Early endeavors included primarily watercolor painting and pencil sketching, drawing, rendering.

In high school she participated in extra curricular art classes at a local museum and later, was introduced to wood carving by her Uncle Bud.  To the left is a carving she did of her uncle after the celebration of his 90th birthday.

This is a sample of one of Michelle's wood carvings.

Though not a "bird," it's included here because from this art form sprang an interest in block carving. Though traditionally carvings for reproduction were wood carvings, artists discovered linoleum blocks as a more user friendly material. Later, the arrival of still softer material in a variety of sizes, made carving pleasanter and more accessible to even more artists.

Her friend Wanda (Hentges) whom you've met in these posts, challenged Michelle to try her hand at "rubber" carving..............And a new passion was born!

While still enjoying watercolor and drawing, art stamp carving takes the lead most times and embossing is one her favorite techniques for printing the designs. 

Enviably, her love, her passion for art has also become her profession. Michelle concentrates primarily on custom designs. In addition to her on-line Etsy business, she has done portraits, paintings, and "Hand Print Art," in her local area. She also conducts classes primarily for children at a nearby art store.

As her Grandmother encouraged her, she in turn is supporting and encouraging creativity in her three children: newly-wed Paige,
an artist and a published writer, who (along with her husband) is teaching English in Europe; Nina, who, in addition to drawing well,  is a talented cake decorator; and Seth, whose pencil drawings already incorporate perspective with impressive accuracy.

Michelle home schooled her children and even managed time to host foreign exchange students. Pictured here are Seth, Nina, Asha (the most recent guest, from Zanzibar), Michelle and Scott, who is more interested in flying than birds. He flies an ultra light plane and his "winged" interest shows up in Michelle's art from time to time.
Missing from this picture is Paige, as is another important family member........Cosmo........who joined the family as a small kitten and who inspired this carving.  
Note: For those of you who scoff at attending your High School Reunions, you may want to re-think this stance. Michelle and Scott attended High School together but lost touch after graduation. They met again at their 10 Year Reunion......and the rest is history. Sounds like a romantic "made for TV" episode, but it really happened........and, in April they celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary!

Birds in Michelle's work range from simple, decorative to realistic, complex. From paintings to carvings to sewing projects. They appear in custom wedding invitations and are part of an on-going series of Christmas Cards.
All of the illustrations in this post are Michelle's work.

More samples show Michelle's range and versatility.

And, as much as we LOVE seeing ggd's birds show up here.............
It's these works that leave us so impressed with Michelle's carving skills:

Michelle has shared hers, no let's see YOUR favorite bird images!!!

Bookmark Michelle's BLOG and her ETSY shop to keep up with her newest ventures.

Sparrow Foot Stamps