Mark Goodhew was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana and now resides in LaGrange, Indiana. Mark was first exposed to photography while studying graphic design and art at Ball State University and graduated with a bachelors degree in Graphic Design and minor in marketing. After graduating he worked in his families NAPA Auto Parts business as the marketing and advertising director and currently as the warehouse operations and purchasing VP. During that time Mark learned website design and developed a site for the family business. Mark rediscovered his passion for photography when he purchased his first digital camera in 2007 and continues to discover and develop his digital imagery.
I first discovered photography when I studied graphic design and art in college. Then, I would spend a day shooting pictures with film and another day in a darkroom seeing what I captured.
Digital photography has opened new ways to shoot photographs, manipulate and enhance the Imagery. I enjoy exploring the technology and the new ways it allows me to present the images I shoot. Enhancing colors, contrasts and using photo software tools to create, "Photo Paintings", as I refer to them. When I look at the images I photograph, I picture them as paintings on a canvas.
The natural beauty of the outdoors is my studio for so many of my “Photo Paintings”. Nature is so gracious in giving me many wonderful landscapes, waterscapes and imagery to choose from. I would say that most of my photography leans more toward “Abstract Impressionism” in style versus photo realistic, but there are those times where nature presents itself in such a beautiful way, that you simply capture the moment without much manipulation.
I would say that most of my work needs to be viewed from a distance to see the “Photo Paintings” imagery I am referring to. They look less like photos and more like an impressionistic or abstract painting, but you can still feel the presence of nature and where it came from.
Capturing an interesting photo is only the beginning of my process. Many of the photos I take, I see something there, but do not realize its potential until I am able to manipulate it in computer software. Some of my post picture images are gray without much color, but there is color there, captured by the camera. It just needs to be enhanced, brought out with computer software.
I sometimes use a technique of layering portions of the same photo on top of each other, manipulating and enhancing effects of the software. My camera and photo software programs become the medium I use, like a painter uses brushes and paints.
A new direction of mine, is a more "Abstract" photography. Looking at smaller areas of my photographs, cropping and combining those areas into more "Abstract" designs.
David Taylor was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. David earned an Associates Degree in Architectural /Engineering Technology at ITT Technical Institute in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and spent the next 40 years in varius engineering and processing firms - the last being Abbott Nutrition in Columbus, Ohio and Sturgis for a period of 26 years.
Until recently, he was an un-shown artist who had painted and drawn most his life, learning his craft in a self taught method. In March of 2019, he was juried into the Open Door Gallery in Sturgis Michigan and began displaying there. David had the honor and privilege to have two of his works chosen for the “rt about Town”in 2019 and 2020 exhibit that were displayed throughout the town of Sturgis.
Previously, he had used his artistic gifts to do some interesting work such as illustration and rendering work for Kellogg's, Howard Johnson and other firms throughout the country.
Now, semi-retired (He continues to draw house plans) he splits his time between Art, Architecture, Music and helping his wife around the house.
The earliest artistic piece I still have is a pencil drawing of my grandfathers hat. It was sitting on the dining table one rainy morning in 1966, and I drew it as a way to keep busy. I did my best for a 10 year old, but the picture lacks contrast and life. Still, it garnered heaps of praise from my grandparents and I began drawing many items around the bungalow they lived in.
Like most self taught artists, I learned by trying to copy the works of artists whose work I enjoyed, and what I liked were earth paintings. (Landscapes and sea-scapes)
Most times, my art is not a reproduction of an exact nature scene, but a mixture of hills, trees and rivers I have seen and combine into something that pleases me. I guess I'm just adding a feather to that hat on the table.
Beverley was born in a small farming village in mid Michigan and went to Central
Michigan and majored in Physical Education. She now lives on a farm near Sturgis,
Michigan. Her inspiration is the sheep flock and farm buildings on the farm. She
has worked with watercolor, acrylic and today her favorite is alcohol ink. She
often produces mixed media paintings. Her very first art class ever was as at age
40 something with children at the Sturgis Young Auditorium. There she learned
to draw sheep followed by many workshops mostly watercolor. She has been in
some exhibitions and shows.
I paint because it makes me happy to play with paint. I am surprised at what
appears on the paper. I don’t start out with something in mind. I put paint on
paper or Yupo and when something comes to me I work to finish the idea with as
little additional manipulation as possible. I paint as little detail as I can to suggest
Linda (Ackerman) Esseltine was born in Three Rivers, Mi and raised in Leonidas and Colon, Mi. She attended, and graduated from, Colon Schools. She worked as a waitress at the M&M Grill in Colon all through High School. After her marriage to William (Bill) Esseltine in 1963 she and her husband moved to Sturgis, Mi where she still lives. She lost her husband in 2014 and her oldest son (Kurt) in 2020. Her remaining son lives in Burr Oak, Mi. She has two grandchildren.
She started working at Wall School Library in 1976. She was hired to type and file. After the Librarian retired she then ran the library on her own. Hence I was called the 'Librarian' (Library Lady to the children), even though I didn't have a degree. She retired from there in 2014. After the loss of her husband in November of that year. That is when she got serious about her art and joined the Open Door Gallery in Sturgis, Michigan..
In March of 2016, she began taking watercolor classes. The only art she had ever sold up to that point were Christmas ornaments that she had made from salt dough. Later she switched to polymer clay, which is much more durable. No idea how many she sold but it was in the hundreds. Art has pretty much taken over the house with an art studio in a spare bedroom and three different paint areas in the basement.
I have a very varied and informal background in art. I have taken one sculpture class at Glen Oaks and have taken various other classes with art teachers have but no formal art education.
I would have a difficult time picking a favorite medium. I have done everything from salt dough, polymer clay, baskets, ceramics, macramé, watercolor, cards and ,most recently, acrylics. I have only done one oil painting in my life. I liked it but can't handle the smell.
Right now I am really enjoying the freedom and looseness of acrylic pour painting. The mixing of paint and several different mediums to get different results gets labor intense but it is worth it when you get the result you seek. Some question whether it is art because "a two year old could do it". Those people have not tried it ...it is a lot trickier that it looks and lots of work. Having more failures than successes makes the victories even more precious.
Art groups I belong to are all online..(except the Open Door Gallery) .a polymer clay group, Shelee Art and a Plein Air group. I create art because it is my happy place and brings contentment, fulfillment and peace. I love "pretty" art. not into far out abstract or dark subjects. I do some abstract but I'm more into liking how it looks than giving it meaning. I don't analyze my work, I just enjoy it. If I had to choose a favorite subject I would probably go with flowers and I also enjoy doing landscapes. But almost nothing is off limits.
I love it, of course, when someone expresses deep appreciation for my art pieces. I once took off a necklace I had made from the polymer clay and gave it to a friend who had admired it several times.
I take some of my pieces to a printer and have them made into cards which I sell in the Gallery. I also sell polymer clay jewelry, watercolor paintings, acrylic paintings and the pour paintings. I couldn't live on the income but it keeps me in supplies so i can continue to do my art.
Melanie Golden was born in Germany and lived there for the first 26 years of her life. She then decided to study overseas. She has an associate in arts and a bachelor degree in business administration/computer information systems. She met her husband during the last year of her studies. Together they have 4 children and live in Sturgis, Michigan.
Art has always been a passion of hers and whilst staying home, raising the kids, she always found time to follow it. She became a member of the Open Door Gallery in 2018. Her favorite medium is wire. She has been featured in several articles and has her art displayed in Sturgis as part of the art around town event.
“Wire is a fascinating medium to work with and sometimes it has a mind of its own.”