Artist Process - How They Create

Lemon Meringue

Lemon Meringue

Jenny King

Jenny King’s approach to creating art is simple: translate positive emotion onto canvas using color, texture, abstraction, and intuition. Her process however, is slightly more intricate as she incorporates layers and depth to build each work into a one-of-a-kind showpiece.

Jenny’s process begins with an acrylic underpainting to set the mood. This foundation and predominant feeling will emerge unexpectedly throughout the painting. She often adds musical notes, written word, textural media, and natural elements to also evoke uplifting emotions. Her mixed media work has been accurately described as “soul healing” and leaves viewers with a natural propensity to spread love and joy to those around them.

Lorra Kurtz

Lorra Kurtz enjoys painting mixed media nests, hummingbirds, florals, abstracts, and more. The painting shown here, Heart Strings, was a commission for a client that had three grandchildren. The hummingbirds represent the grandparents as they watch over the newest members of their family. The nest represents home - a nurturing environment and a place of comfort.

In building the nest, Lorra has come up with a unique process. She cuts strips of waxed rice paper and glues them onto the canvas. This creates the depth and dimension of the nest. Clear gesso is applied. Then charcoal, india inks, acrylic paint, and oil pastels are used for embellishment. The hummingbirds are sketched in charcoal with their bodies revealing a color from a prior layer of acrylic paint.

Heart Strings

Heart Strings

Kimono Vessel , 45” tall

Kimono Vessel, 45” tall

Andrew Otis

Andrew Otis is a second generation potter whose pieces include large scale vessels from 3-6 feet. He throws the vessels in sections, centering 30-75 pounds of clay at a time on two to three wheels and then flipping the sections on top of one another and joining them seamlessly. Once the main body of the pot is created, he begins to experiment with the top section and the surface of the clay.

“At this point, I approach the piece as if it were a canvas,” said Andrew. “I look at it as a whole and consider ways to carve and glaze that will bring out the beauty in the form and create an interesting surface.” Andrew often carves natural images into his pieces, such as birds or fish, and his glazing often has a feeling of movement similar to water flowing over the piece. He sometimes creates sculptures of birds, fish, turtles, or other animals on the top of the pieces, all drawing from the pastoral setting where he works in northern Michigan. Many of his pieces also contain Japanese-inspired designs such as kimonos and sakura blossoms, which draw from his Asian heritage.

Vivian Saich

“I hand-build and wheel-throw decorative and functional forms using white porcelain clay. I draw in my sketch book to generate new ideas, then I usually make a form or use a mold with a plan in mind and roughly layout my design idea which often is reminiscent of the tropics. I like to alter original forms and sometimes happy accidents happen when I am pushing the clay’s limits. I like bending and removing sections around the rim of a bowl for example to give the piece a more organic form, but sometimes depending on when I start working on it the clay cannot be bent without cracking. So, after altering I cut out negative spaces and sculpt out the rest of the surface details. I enjoy allowing my imagination to flow freely during this part of the process.

I love using porcelain because of its pure whiteness and how beautifully the light reflects off of it, accentuating surface textures, contours, contrasting light, shadow, and glazes. My goal is to create quality work while pushing the limits of the medium to create beautiful, decorative, and functional forms.”


Enchanting Woodlands , paper, 12”x12”

Enchanting Woodlands, paper, 12”x12”

Barbara Zimmernan

The source of Barb’s inspiration has always been the amazing gift that nature offers to us everyday. With paper as her medium she strives to capture its rich tapestry.

Utilizing a broad spectrum of papers she cuts or tears each individual leaf, tree, rock, and waterfall. She applies each element to the canvas, paying attention to seasonal changes in plant life and the habitat in which they grow. The variety of shapes, textures of paper, and depth of layering add to the 3-dimensional effect she achieves with each landscape. Her ultimate goal is to pay homage to nature and invite the viewer to be transported into the scene.