After 25 years - Farewell Piece to Moynihan Gallery

Posted on September 07, 2018 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments

The blank canvas of this bench was the perfect last-piece-to paint when I chose to retire from my retail art gallery in downtown Holland.

Over the years, the craggy birch tree has become my beacon. The beauty of this tree is the imperfections in its raw rough bark. At times, during my artistic journey, I felt as exposed only to realize that if I embraced my short-comings I could stand tall like the birch.

As I turn the key to lock the gallery for the very last time, the click reminds me how happy I am. Memories of wonderful customers, team members and events flood my mind. Better yet, is what lies ahead.

My memoir, A Lone Birch, has allowed me to share some of the lessons I've learned along this journey. I find speaking to groups thrilling, and perhaps, I can  inspire others as I branch out beyond my days at Moynihan Gallery.

My stories will continue on Kate Moynihan Facebook ...  I hope to see you there!

A new web site will launch soon: www.katemoynihanartist.com

or contact me at:


cell: 616-510-0151




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Surrender Perfection

Posted on May 07, 2018 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments

When you were a kid do you remember that scowl across the elementary school portrait photographer's face? It wasn't until years later when I became a parent that I understood why the photographer's face was permanently wrinkled in worry. My brow furrowed, too, when I tried to snap a perfect portrait of my sons. This is what I got:

Wanting to give my traditional parents a proper drawing of their grandchildren, I alternated my sons' shenanigans and drew them a bit more straightforward.

Fast forward thirty years, and once again, as I tried my best to capture the charming smiles of my own grand kids, I felt, once again, like that school portrait photographer who begged for the perfect pose, saying: "Just one, more, ... just one, more."

Instead of catching a perfect picture,I laughed alongside my grandchildren.

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5 Ways to Stay Focused

Posted on February 21, 2018 by Candle-ology Moynihan Gallery | 0 comments

Work "smarter," not harder is my favorite motto, yet sometimes I find it difficult to always work smarter. Being “smarter” is more than being intelligent. It’s instincts, guts.

At times, along my artsy journey, I've had guts, but sometimes my curious nature gets me sidetracked. 
I lost my cell phone251
I found if I stick to these 5 ways to stay focused, I do better, but it takes motivation. Notice my incentive attached to each discipline.
1. Adhere to your to-do list.
If I stay focused, I treat myself to a mocha latte.
2. Track results.
Numbers are not my favorite, but if I’ve been accountable, I leave a few minutes early that day!
3. Evaluate.
Hmm, this calls for chocolate.
4. Learn from mistakes.
Missteps are part of growth. Admitting them is part of life, but that doesn’t mean it’s fun to acknowledge them. That takes more chocolate.
5. Set new goals.
Strategizing takes energy … ice cream this time! 

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    Inspirational Words with a New Twist

    Posted on December 25, 2017 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments




    Let the power of a word uplift you! Liam did for me!

    My five-year-old grandson sparked a surge of creativity for me as we played a silly game of reindeer antlers (balloons stuffed inside pantyhose and planted on your head!). 

    By the end of the fun-fill day the rubbery balloons had deflated inside the stretchy nylon. When I pulled the textures apart it reminded me of my collage days. Later, in my studio, I began layering paint, papers, shapes and patterns.
    Thinking of Liam's tenacity to wear balloons that stretched longer than his four-foot height on his head, "bend" was the first word that sparked my creative streak.Soon windswept leaves flew onto my canvas among contrasting strong, vertical birch trees.
    "Strength" became my next word. What inspires you?

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    Top 10 Benefits for Having a Friend

    Posted on October 16, 2017 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments

    For most of us, we can't go it alone. Sure enough, be it your car, work, or even play, it's our friends that are there ... and create the joy. I have ten personal favorite times when friends helped me out.

    10. The time a friend popped and shoveled the hot salty-buttery popcorn into 500 bags in just 3 hours!

    9. Dressed up their dogs for a Facebook post.


    8. Puckered their lips.




    7. In February, grew grass in huge 3-foot shallow oversize tubs on their dinning room table in order for it to grow in time so we could pretend it was Spring in the gallery!

    6. Evaluated my latest kid's chapter book when they haven't read one in more than thirty years.

    5. Hiked up to the tip top of a ladder to paint the 13-foot ceiling trim ... during Labor Day weekend!

    4. Wore a foam Mr. Peanut costume to promote: "We're nuts about picture framing/" Only the day hit record high heat of ninety degrees. No air conditioning in that garb!




    3. Looped and stapled 5,000 strips of red construction paper to create paper chains for 12-foot tee-pee shaped Christmas trees.

    2. Set up a shaved ice machine, hauled bags of ice and coolers, wrestled with a thirty-foot, 3-prong grounded extension cord only to have unseasonably frigid temperatures and then had NO takers for the FREE snow-cones.

    1. Froze fake spiders in ice cubes so we could serve a crazy bug-themed punch when I launched my book, Beached in a Camper.

    Friends are a beautiful thing!

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    About the Artsy Shopkeeper

    Hi, I'm Kate Moynihan. Yes, I am a baby boomer, and my professional life has taken a few interesting twists and turns. The journey began as a registered nurse. After thirteen years of caring for others, however, I got the creative itch. At the time, I was a single mom living in North Dakota; that’s when I caught this bug to paint pictures. Now, twenty-seven years later, I have some stories to tell about my artistic journey. Read more...

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