Wednesday, November 18, 2009



  ~  pencil, pastels, acrylics on board  ~  Titled:  "Dad's Things"  1970. 
         [more about him in next post: "Captain" Leo]

Pictured are some belongings of my father  [Leo Mueller]  rendered by me some ten years after his death.  My collection of this memorabilia provided subject matter for a still-life which I set up right in the very room he finished in knotty pine, as seen in background.  An heirloom octagonal table seemed appropriate to hold most of the items. Handcrafted by him in wood was the chessboard and ship. the chess pieces [some broken by one of us 10 kids] were cast by him in resin. Above the Indian axehead is a siren from WW2. In front of his rifle is an old magnifying glass in leather slideout case. Behind curtain is antique Argus in leather case, and a trophy he won sailboat racing. Lastly, his boat whistle next to what was left of his telescope. [so many kids, you know..!]

Thursday, October 15, 2009

California, Here I Come

That's where 3 of my paintings were sent to be digitally scanned for Giclee prints. The French word 'giclee' itself means 'sprayed ink.
This type of art reproduction results in a high quality image.
The proofs I received were amazing as far as accuracy of color & detail. These 3 works will soon be available in 18" by 24" signed prints

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

the NEW Artists on the Block

Saturday-at-Gramma's...grandaughter #1 brings her own art supplies and much to my surprise painted as long as I did at my easel...more than half of the day until 10:00 pm~! grandaughter #2 not quite as devoted, but still, a painter in her own right; she eventually broke away to read a favorite storybook.
Not sure if I may have started a trend; these homeschooled girlies prefer their own techniques, and I must say:
We actually inspire one another.

Monday, August 24, 2009


While preparing for an auction, I stumbled upon my Art studies of 1965 in a box with Speedball inks. While still in high school, this correspondence course introduced me to the very basics of composition, drawing & painting.
From these pages I distinctly remember to this day the paint blending techniques, as shown here along with excellent instruction. If not for the severely mildewed condition of the 3 binders, I'd like to keep them; however, they have served their purpose.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Monday Nights at the GALLERY

1969. East Detroit & Grosse Point Woods [MI] area. I was 21 years young and met weekly to paint with a group of artists in an area known as "The Block". The others were all well older than myself and some of them art instructors.

Most of the time, there was a hired model, either male or female, sitting or reclining, dressed or not dressed. When there was no one to pose, we took turns being model for 1/2 hour each, however not in the nude!

The sketches shown range from charcoal to pastels are from those days.

More on this topic in my Sketchbook Memoirs post. Stay tuned for a future one: Halloween Night at the Gallery~!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


 One of my very first paintings I gave to my sister(back in late 60's). Some years after on one of my visits,  I noticed it needed some work. Her  husband's heavy smoking gave the whole thing a yellowed pall, and something had dripped on it.   I took it home to give it a makeover.

After sealing with spray fixative, I went over the whole thing with fresh [Oil] paint; striving for better colors & composition.

I narrowed the river, rearranged pines, added a tree which looks dead, but I like the pattern of its naked branches.  The red-earth foreground with abrupt cliffs did not belong in this misty-moist scenario.  So they got covered over with grass & wildflowers.   

After complete drying time a thin coat of damar varnish to protect its colors & give a slight sheen. 

Even the frame got a fresh stain & varnish. 

Sunday, May 31, 2009


painted over 20 yrs ago, of my mom,[shortest one] and 3 of my aunts (all passed away now,[sniff!]) No makeup or jewelry, plainjanes in their homade dresses & aprons; all raised on farms. 
I used a primitive style to invoke old-timey feeling of Sundays back in the late 50's, when I was still a schoolgirl. The time is about 1:30 or 2 o'clock, well after the last Mass is over. Sunday dinner is in the making as these wonderful cooks create aromas of some of our favorite recipes. A couple of us (5-daughters) Mueller girls (and 5 brothers make 10 kids total) take part in the preparation, following up with cake batter & icing bowls for the little ones to lick clean.

Long Way From Home

An enhanced scan of an old faded snapshot of a Oil painting I did some 40 years ago [large, approx. 24" x 36"] Thus the reason for the incredibly grainy appearance.

This was one of those works that I grew disallusioned with (got sick of, in short: I hated it!) so, I gessoed it over, and did a totally different painting on top.

After bringing up some lost details with Iphoto, I am amazed at the thing; and glad to have a record of it!

Monday, May 25, 2009


  1. Not remembering exactly what era of my life this was purchased,

  2.                    I gather it must have been during my art training.       This goes back to my high school days  (the sixties) during which I took a correspondance   course with  Art Instruction Schools.           Some of you may know of or remember their small black & white magazine ads boldly titled 'DRAW ME'.        I more than likely bought it to do my lesson-work with my babysitting savings [going rate of that day was .50 an hr.]        Nevertheless, it has a generous adjustable tilt level which I find desirous since I usually prop up what I am working on anyhow. Or, at times, my regular easel sits a bit too vertically.    One nice feature:  it can be set almost as level as a regular table.  This is good for applying varnish or a watery wash which you don't want dripping down.  

This drawing table ( along with my doll, Madeline :)! )  has survived many, many moves and situations.   

Thursday, April 30, 2009


One thing I have from my childhood is my 18" Miss Revlon Doll which came to me on Christmas Day of 1959.  Not having many toys, as I was one of ten children, I cherished this beautiful present,  and immediately named her Madeline, no doubt influenced by the popular  story of that day. This so happens to be the name of my youngest grandchild as pictured next to the latex version. 
In the bl & wht photo, I am eleven yrs old, standing near my bed the brandnew Madeline sits on.  Other photo is a close idea of  how her original dress of navy organdy and black high heels looked which are now forever lost.
 Poor ol' gal needs a makeover.  I keep her unruly hair in an upsweep. Her nails need a fresh coat of polish.  The ink stains are there to stay. An unfortunate result of bad-lad nephew getting ahold of her once.  Adding insult to injury, his bad-doggie also got ahold of her and chewed her toes. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


This morning I had a flashback of an accident  in which 2 of my daughters were hit by a pickup truck some 18 yrs ago.  
Scenaro that afternoon  in Tucson AZ:  I was attending our jewelry business location on Speedway Ave. Business being slow [as usual], I happened to be working on my acrylic painting, "Jungle Party".   Right across the street at the crosswalk of Speedway & Treat Ave,  Sarah & Julie, returning from the library were crossing when a pickup truck hit them both.
Ironically, this was same day of Iraq's 1st Scud missile attack, opening day of Desert Storm.  Daughter #1 had a knee injury, though able to hop away & come alert me the news. Daughter #3 ended up with a broken femur and a gash to the head, resulting in her having to wear a bodycast for 6 wks. 
Daughter #2 was in Ohio with husband who was pursuing  additional business interests [as usual].  
The girls' pain and my self inflicted guilt for letting them go to the library on foot caused me great anxiety, opening this morning's fresh tears of regret.
The painting,  finished & framed hangs in our now current successful location, Wexford Jewelers in Cadillac, MI. 
Speedway Jewelry & Repair no longer exists.  One morning I arrived to open for the day to find the lock changed due to nonpayment of the rent. This only added to the forfeitures our family experienced as a result of the poor business ethics and over-expansion.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


As I browse through my sketchbooks I've saved over the years, they bring back fond memories much like a photo album does.  The book these 3 are from depicts 3 separate art events or should I call them "happenings" from approximately 40 yrs ago. 
One I sketched at our "Spring Exhibit & Sale" the club I was part of: Macomb Art Society,  in Macomb Mall, Michigan. You can see the "S" of the Sears anchor store in the rear. 
Another sketch from same book features some fellow artists I "caught" while in the outdoor life class at Oxbow which is in Saugatuck, Michigan. I knew most of their names, and tagged them at the time.
This third one selected was labeled "Gallery Night" in the Grosse Pointe Woods [Michigan, of course] area.  On Monday nights I belonged to a group of artists who met in a room above a music store in an area known as "The Block".  The lady with red hair, Nancy Profit was an excellent painter and art teacher, a good lady and mother of 8.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


A sighting had occurred in our area  Nov. 1999 (Cadillac, MI). Five yellowish white saucer shapes silently trekking above the freshfallen snow is how 3 members of our family witnessed it in the sky that evening. (I was not one of them[sniff!])   It was also seen by others in nearby counties and was documented in the Cadillac Evening News. "Meteors provide light show in local skies".  My daughter, Julie, one of the witnesses did a simple painting of it while the image was yet fresh in her memory.
The 9 x 12 canvas board got shuffled around the house for a couple years til one day I dusted it off & added more detail,  reworking the trees and shading, etc. Thus it is signed, "Karen*Julie".  On the backside, I glued the news article, now yellowed with nearly 10 yrs of age. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Briefly used in a couple of my first works, I have recently rediscovered working with the palette knife. The interesting effect it produced could not have been gotten with a brush. The technique depends on the quality and size of the knife used.
I must say it doesn't help my carpal tunnel any. After applying paint like this for a half hour or more, my hand & wrist are 'happy' for me to take a break.
I'm about to order a smaller size spade-shaped one for better control of smaller details.
Oh-the fun of ordering art supplies!!--[another subject]

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cosmic Bride

Cosmic  Bride   ~  Oils
One of those works that almost fall in place by itself...began with a drawing of my favorite tree. Then a woman's face here, another larger face there, some lace, some nebulous cosmic atmosphere... next thing I knew, it was a surreal scene with a bridal effect.

The emotion that reverberates from it is almost unearthly quiet, of a still moonlit night combined with M'lady's eerie sadness.
The redness of the rose is reinforced by that of her lips. Her veil forms the pattern of the stellar backdrop, while she is clothed in mystery.

This painting is for sale here.