MICHIGAN WILD: Creation + Inspiration

Are those Holland, Michigan tulips in the bottom left of the state? Why yes, yes they are! My mom, sister and I spent two weeks in Holland, MI while my dad was attending a conference there -- I remember three things about that trip: wooden shoes, the tulips in bloom, and the massive beautiful stairs that encompassed our hotel lobby.

Below you’ll find my art supplies used and a list of all the native wildflowers found in this piece.

Art Creation:

  • Paint: Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor
  • Ink: Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India ink Black
  • Brushes: Various Princeton Neptune Series Synthetic Squirrel Brushes
  • Paper: Canson Plein Air Mix Media Artboard
  • Calligraphy Pen: It’s older than me — it was my mom’s pen, impossible to know the manufacturer
Featured Michigan Wildflowers:
  • Apple Blossom (State Flower!)
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Pasque Flower
  • Black Eyed Susans
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Holland Michigan Tulips
  • Wild Lupine

Process: Each state print begins with several hours of wildflower research using old wildflower identification books from my father, multiple web searches, and the occasional trip to the library! After finding the wildflowers that I feel will work best with the unique shape of each state, I begin a composition sketch. It is from this initial sketch that the remaining layers are born. Because I paint in a loose fashion, the watercolor layer is by far the fastest --- often taking me less than 45 minutes to complete!

After allowing the watercolor to dry for 24-48 hours, I begin a tedious process of detailing the wildflowers with India ink using an antique calligraphy pen. This step often takes several hours as one wrong move will (and has) ruin the entire painting. Once the final drawing layer is complete, the piece will be scanned into photoshop and a 6-8 hour process of removing the paper & pencil marks will begin! 

About Michigan Art Prints & Stationery product production: I work with two local (small family business!) printers to produce my products. I am very particular about who I use for final print production. I give my best in the art creation, and I will only give my customers the best when it comes to the final printed product. The two companies that I use are top-notch and I consider it an honor to work with them. 

What does the final product look like? Find the Michigan Wild notecards here, and the Michigan Wild fine art prints here

Questions? Check out my FAQs or reach out to me, here! I'd love to chat! 

xoxo
manda