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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3 Tips to Collage Your Worries Away - A PAINTING TIP

Posted on January 06, 2018 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments

Get lost in creativity. Chase away winter ho-hum with an artsy project. Collage is the perfect medium to color outside the lines. So throw out the rules and join me in the fun of collage with these three easy tips.

1.Gather inspiration.

Rummage through your junk drawer, stroll an antique shop or flea market. Second-hand and stationary shops are great supply sources too. Seek flat objects such as greeting cards, lace, ribbon, doilies, vintage comics, magazines, photographs. Don't forget about old sample books such as wallpaper, paint color samples or even fabric swatches ... Stamps, stickers, stationary and gift wrap paper all work well. Include tissue papers, cellophane, and even wax paper if you want a translucent look.

Too many choices? Pick a theme. This can be a hobby like gardening, or a passion like cooking or perhaps, simply focus on one color.

2.Gather Supplies.

Gesso stretched canvas is my preferred surface to collage. The linen absorbs the glue and can be hung on the wall almost immediately after completing your art piece.

Modge-Podge is a glue that adheres well and dries clear. It can be purchased at any craft store and comes in gloss or matte. If you like bling, there is also a "sparkle" version.

Brushes can be used, but I often find my fingers do most of the work, tearing shapes, layering textures, applying the glue.

I like acrylic paint as it dries quickly.In addition to painting realistic images, try swirling and dragging a comb's teeth through the acrylic for texture. Use the pointy end of your paint brush to scribble in the wet paint and make a fascinating pattern. When wet, acrylics also acts as a glue so you can use its color to adhere papers. Try thinning down the paint with water so there is just a tint of color, this will let the prominent color of the paper shine through, while letting the hint of color add depth.

Lastly, once the collage is dry, I use U-V spray. A thin coat of protective ultraviolet covering is suggested to prevent colors from fading.

3.Gather courage.

If you're a novice to the art world, or a professional, often camaraderie enhances the experience. Round up your family or a few friends and create a party. The commitment of setting a date assures the project will get completed, and it's a perfect atmosphere to trade some of the treasures you've gathered to collage.

Then, let loose! Simply toss your worries away and begin tearing, cutting, shredding, layering, lifting, blotting, printing. I think you'll find lightheartedness surrounding you once you get lost in the application of collage. 

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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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3 Benefits of Repetition in Your Home and Art

Posted on November 01, 2017 by Kate Moynihan | 0 comments

Repetition can create a restful feel. In the wall decor below serenity is captured by duplicating the simple 15 x 22" birch panels.

This peaceful feel can be capture with accessories also. Neutrals along with the use of one color (green below) creates harmony.


For more punch, add variety to your repetition with more color like below:

Sometimes a little color adds a big punch like the red bird in one of the birch panels you saw above! You'll discover your personality will guide you on how much discord you like with your harmony!


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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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