unleashed! DOG SHOW
David and I made many new dog friends while we painted our cheerful up-do of the four hydrants and the ticket boxes on the square. Now we’re adding to our collection of furry acquaintances as we join a baker’s dozen of artCentral talents turning ordinary everyday ornaments into works of bright beauty honoring Carthage—“America’s Maple Leaf City”.
This Saturday past we’re off to an excellent start—painting hydrants and making dog friends. All the pre-arrangements are in place. We say “thank you” to Ron and Crystal Stiles who are allowing us to use their front room as our meet-up place and to Father Steve Wilson who’s arranged for Grace Episcopal Church to offer us a comfort station.
We send a bouquet of “thank yous” to artist Lora Waring who has cut out hundreds of theme related motifs—maple leaves and fluffy cumulus clouds mounted on sheets of foam core—a set for each artist to arrange as they create a swirl of autumn color against the sky blue background of their assigned stanchion.
Carrying, Benton, her infant son, Meagan Milliken, CW&EP Customer Relations Manager and project coordinator for the square and the parade route hydrants, arrives with the artist supplies she’s assembled—a full kit generously underwritten by CW&EP whose crew has done the power-washing and background painting. The painting party, off to a grand start, is only temporarily interrupted by much-needed rain.
While canine companions are finding hydrants on the route being dressed up for the October 21st Maple Leaf Parade, artCentral is preparing to fill our galleries with portraits of dogs that will stop you on your walk. They’re painted and brought to us by artist Michael Steddum, a California transplant and much admired Missouri artistic treasure—an inspiration to all artists who aspire to make their living by their loving.
Michael loves dogs. A practitioner of “paint what you know and love”, Michael is at his easel six days a week expressing his passion as he paints everyday scenes of the canines he loves and enjoys. His ability to touch our heartstrings, while felt with pleasure by those of us nearby, echoes internationally with his patrons from Europe to Japan to Canada.
As we follow the postings of Michael’s digital journal, candidly, generously he reveals the layer-by-layer unfolding that leads to the completion of each new work. We see an initial concept and composition sketched with his exquisite black and white drawing laid on paper or canvas. We are awed at his mastery of his brushes and pigments. Fluent in oil and watercolor, his paintings are poignant in richness of depth and sensitive in nuance of color. Each is another exquisite rendering of one or more of our beloved companions at work or rest or play. Each causes our hearts to sing.
Joining the United States Navy in 1984, Michael was an illustrator during the latter part of his enlistment. After the military, Michael worked for a gallery in San Diego, California, where he honed his skills in the marketing of art. A 2014 Summa Cum Laude graduate with a BFA from MSSU, Michael is a self-published artist with more than 500 limited edition prints to his credit. He has produced numerous commissions for companies such as Field & Stream Apparel and Vance Creek, as well as for private collectors.
What a pleasure to honor and exhibit an artist of true excellence. Equally well-versed in his art making and in his highly professional presentation, Michael is indeed a true inspiration—a man with his talents unleashed.
The opening reception for “unleashed! DOG SHOW” is Friday, October 6, 2017, 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The public is invited. Admission is free. The exhibit continues through November 12, 2017, generously underwritten by HOMETOWN BANK.
For information call (417) 358-4404.