A New Approach To Downtown Holland, Michigan

Posted on August 07, 2017 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments

Lenore DePree uses her passion to Persian Pottery, which she discovered while living in the Middle East for ten years, to add a watery lushness to her acrylics. Her graphic-like designs have a carefree feel. Look closely at the her downtown Holland images and the ceramic pieces below and I think you can see the inspiration this worldly culture that the pottery provides her. For me, it is easy to be impressed with the freshness to her crisp colors.

Related image Related image

 Lenore's giclee prints are available in 4 sizes: 8x10", 11x14", 16x20", 20x24."

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Bug Bites Reveal More - Birch verses Aspen Trees

Posted on July 19, 2017 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments
A swarm of mosquitoes gorged my bare legs, and no-see-ums hovered around my head while I trudged deeply in the woods of Pikesview Reservoir in Colorado Springs. Slapping and shooing the buzzing bugs, I pressed on seeking an answer. 

For 60+ years, as a Michigan native, I assumed all the white-barked trees I favored in my paintings were inspired by the Paper Birch, a common tree in my homeland state. So on my first-time-ever trip to Colorado I expected to see the Quaking Aspen. Which I did, but from the distance it looked eerily like the birch tree. Same crisp white and black bark, same fluttering leaves.

As my skin swelled with a mix of big puffy pink bites and tiny red pinpoints I waded deeper for a closer look. Sure enough, in the midst of Colorado forest the birch stood with its bark peeling off in thin wispy layers, having a chalky feel. Not more than a few feet away towered the aspen, its bark smooth to touch. True to its name the heart-shaped aspen leaves quivered, while the oval-shaped, toothed edge birch leaves took a bit more breeze to flutter. I was stunned to see them growing side-by-side.

I escaped the woods and took a Benadryl hoping the antihistamine would attack the welts that covered me. Several hours later all I had was a medicine hangover that made me feel like I was wearing a paper bag over my head. My eyes felt gritty as if sandpaper rubbed them and my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. The antihistamine dried up everything, except the sensation to scratch at the mosquito and no-see-um stings.

Next time this non-camping gal will do an internet search for inspiration as it only took a few keystrokes in the comfort of an air conditioned office to learn birch and aspen can both be found along the tree line across Alaska to down to Iowa and through much of the Rocky Mountains into Michigan and Pennsylvania. 

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3 Sunflowers for Dad

Posted on June 17, 2017 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments
Once again, on Father's Day, my thoughts drift to the big and bold sunflower - my Dad's favorite flower. As with the past years, he inspired me once more.
Last year's painting below has a special story attached to it: 2 Kind Thoughts  
Circle of Life is the first sunflower story I wrote since my dad passed away leaving me with grand memories, and gusto for painting the big bloom below. I hope you have fond thoughts of Father's Day too.

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2 Goals to Try from Monica Hannan

Posted on June 05, 2017 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments

I was stuck on a weight loss plateau. Of course it didn’t help that my motivation was at an all-time low as the Michigan February wind blew fiercely. All I wanted to do was hibernate. My get-up-and-go had left along with my writing creativity. Then my writing coach, Donna, recommended I take a look at a book cover, thinking its alluring title, testimonial and striking color contrast would inspire my writing woes.

She was right about the book cover; it not only fueled my writing, it got me excited to read the contents – in one day. The author Monica Hannan fired up my dieting drive. I dialed Allison, my buyer for the shop for twenty-three years, who had recently moved 1,244 miles away. I knew she was struggling with dieting, painstakingly starving herself, trying to shave a few inches off her waist.

Using Monica as inspiration, we set 2 goals:

  1. Eat breakfast to rev our metabolism – ugh, breakfast, it had never been the meal of champion for me.
  2. Walk a million steps, ugh to that too.

Three months later, I am proud to say Allison and I crossed the finished line last week. I faithfully choked down my Adkins breakfast bar at 5:30 am, and balanced fat, protein and carb every three hours. My fit-bit shot off fireworks every day as I hit 11,140 steps, but the scale didn’t budge. Allison had struggled along with me on this journey. All was not lost, though. My misery loved the company. 

Then yesterday, out of nowhere as I wheezed like a sick accordion on the treadmill , another faithful gym attender gave me his usual silent nod of hello, and then said, “I’ve watched you all winter. You look like you’ve lost twenty pounds.”

Once I closed my gasping mouth, I told him sadly that the scale had not changed for me.

 “A scale doesn’t tell you everything,” he replied.

I went home and slid into summer shorts. Last year I had a tug-of-war to get the shorts across my hips! I said a silent thank you, Monica.

Where do you get your inspiration?

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#1 Secret for Inspiration

Posted on May 01, 2017 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments
When I feel stuck without an idea one of my favorite tricks for inspiration is to:
Look through old photographs.

The snapshot below of my sons and their friends led to a story in my second book, Trouble Out West In particularly this quote: "It feels great to be four-on-a-couch playing Nintendo again and gulping root beer from the two-liter jug."

Video game time064 thumb

 This spring I relied on photos too. I happened to be so inspired I painted enough tulips for a gallery wall! 

Image result for tulip photos



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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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