Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I SPOTTED HIM IN A SPLIT MOMENT, my model, entering a neighboring booth at the MI Renaissance Festival.  Our booth was then the highly popular Lizardz, Wizardz & Ringz.
Of course, the "wizard" had no idea he was to be my model.  This old gent was in costume, but one could tell the hair & the beard was genuine. He was just one in a crowd of festival goers who like to dress up like in medieval times while browsing the booths and sideshows of the Faire in Holly, MI.
I grabbed my digital camera, snap, snap; then he was gone, lost from view.  A few months later I used his image to compose the shepherd scene that became my Christmas Card for that year. 
The laptop and camera are also gone now along with the image. (everything on it crashed)
But the 24 x 30 Oil Painting remains in my inventory, and sometimes..
...I wonder as I wander, how that old guy is "fairing".
He Saw a Great Light

Friday, October 29, 2010


 Year 1968:  That day I was told they were all set to take down the old church to make way for the new one.   St. Gertrude, founded 1826,   on Jefferson Ave in St. Clair Shores, MI.  You might say I had a front row seat since I lived right across the street from the parish church, rectory, convent and parochial school (all 12 yrs of which I attended).  The bulldozer readied to begin its destructive work.
I had a cheap box camera attained through redemption of Gold Bell Gift Stamps. This I grabbed from my house and ran out to record the scene from my neighbor's  front yard.  Not seeing any others around with cameras, I am sure this is the only photo documentary on the subject. 

The old St. Gert's used to be a handsome church with unique scalloped wood siding in front.   The new A-Frame structure that replaced the original one never did appeal to me;  I watched it's contemporary steel beams gradually rise in place of the old white steeples with fine details.  

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Speaking for myself mostly, I believe all artists from time to time do a painting that is totally disagreeable with how we intended it to end up.   Now, even though I enjoyed the composing of this floral, it kept transforming, changing. The next thing ya know--I 90% hate it.  
One day out on the deck the oil paint rearranged itself into a landscape.
Pictured is halfway point, keeping a few of the magenta flowers.
Final solution: I am satisfied with it now; ready for framing [as soon as today's paint is dry]      Title: Light Unto My Path

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Today is my dear mother's birthday.  Emily (Germain) Mueller left this world in 1984 at age 72.   Mother of ten, she never drove a car, widowed in '61;  she cooked for the nuns across the street to help put us through parochial school. {St Gertrude, St Clair Shores}  Dear Mom,  you will ever live on in my memory and in my heart.   See you some day in Heaven.   love,  Karen
Mom in my Oil "Sunday Afternoon"

Mom's cake I made around 1971

postcard mom got from an aunt in 1924

Saturday, June 26, 2010


MOST of the ART 
on my website are framed pieces.  The watercolor paintings and all drawings all have professional mats.  The ones in this group having frames contain glass. 
All the Oil and Acrylic paintings that have frames do not have glass.  Those painted on wraparound canvas do not require a frame.   Other  materials I paint on range from stretched canvas to gessoed hardboard in 1/8" to 1/4" depth.   Quite a few of these I textured specifically for the subject or left smooth for thin glazes.
One way of using texture is to trowel on thick gesso or modeling paste right over your rough sketch.  There are many sizes & shapes of palette knives available for this.  Once dry it can be painted, emphasizing the relief efforts for an impasto look.
A frame much like the final brushstroke of the artwork can make it or break it.  Paintings that had a lousy cheap frame on looked so much better once I got them reframed by a professional.  Much can be said about the choice of colors, depth and width that finish off artwork that you have labored over.  

Thursday, March 25, 2010


...that is the Question.  I have longed to use gilt for quite awhile in my paintings,  probably after studying Klimt's work.  Before I even began on this picture, I planned to gold leaf the halo parts. 

The outer circle was formed by adding a semi-dry string of Tacky Glue onto which I carefully pressed pieces of the delicate leaf.  I had to exercise extreme self control while working with this near-weightless material;  the slightest exhaling just from normal breathing propels the stuff like you would not believe. 
Never having done this before, I was somewhat nervous about this 'new' to me procedure; yet fascinated at the same time.  This one of Jesus is titled:  "I Will Never Leave You".  Another icon I have, "Heavenly Peace" of baby Jesus & mother Mary,  is getting a similar treatment; both of which I will show in a later post once finished.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


It's one thing to buy a painting you like; and quite another to know how to integrate works of art into your personal space otherwise known as your home.   Personal home decorating is something we all do; and there are endless ways to attractively display your collection as opposed to simply hanging it over the couch.

A current decorator trend:
Stack-leaning against the wall
on a high shelf or mantle with
 coordinating or enhancing 3D
accessories [props] as
pictured here.

Conventionally hung on wall
in a grouping with similar
subject matter or colors is
undeniably a successful choice.

Finally, letting your imagination run
wild  together with your favorite 3D
 objects allows the art to
be a focal point of the room, which
can be such fun.

p.s. photos taken in my daughters' 
homes; decorating credits go to them.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


It was no coincidence that the property our family moved to was lake frontage back in 1952.  [ I was about 6] Our house on Jefferson Ave was situated on Lake St Clair in St Clair Shores, MI. http://www.great-lakes.net/lakes/ref/stclfact.html 
My dad, Leo Mueller, was by instinct a boater in many degrees.. he sailed, motor boated, ice-boated, raced, even winning a couple trophy cups.  He made boats in his garage & at his job.  I remember him layering itchy fiberglass and potent-smelling resin on the bottoms of overturned boats to make them waterproof. 
Years after he died [at age 49 in 1961], I used this method to mend holes in our leaky rowboat.  Dad wore a nautical cap most of the time.  He had a white one and a navy one, as in this photo tinted by me during my photocolorist days. [mid 70's]  You will notice the resemblance in my ID photo.