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De Zwaan (The Swan, or Graceful Bird)

De Zwaan (The Swan, or Graceful Bird)

24" x 36"

Oil on Canvas,

Custom Framed.

2017 ArtPrize Entry


The painting has a quiet, wistful beauty and grace like her namesake, “De Zwaan”  means "The Swan, or Graceful Bird.” I was impressed with the beauty of the early spring landscape, with the leaves just budding out. The new life is beginning to grow amid the old bracken along the water’s edge. The beautiful road runs parallel to the road that leads to the windmill. There are places along the road to rest and enjoy, encouraging us to slow down and enjoy our journey. There are choices,,,the common path, or the path less traveled ahead...a metaphor for life. I was impressed by the quiet strength of the Windmill, standing proudly in the background, her reflection in the water, reflecting a blue sky. The pleasant view belies it’s history, which further inspired me to want to make a painting of it. De Zwaan windmill was first built in the Netherlands in 1761, and during WW11, many were destroyed by the Nazis when they invaded, as an attempt to destroy Dutch culture, and industry. Of the approximate 9,000 windmills, all but 900 were left. De Zwaan sustained damage during the war, as well as serving as a hiding place for two Jewish men at that time. In the 1960’s, the badly damaged windmill was the last Windmill allowed to leave the Netherlands, to come to Holland, MI to be rebuilt. It was repaired and continues to grind flour to this day. It is the only authentic windmill in the United States. The American Flag flies at the top of it. Both are symbols of American Dutch heritage and history, of which I am a part. 

"Unity" (copyrighted) by Michelle Curry,


Warner Camp Series

8" x 24"

Watercolor on Paper

$767.00 (Matted and Framed)

I love the way each tree has different characteristics, yet they all stand together. The sun filters down through the canopy and illumines the colors in the bark. Beyond the darkness, there is the sunlit glade ahead, and beyond that, habitation for people to dwell...

Sojourn, by Michelle Curry (copyrighted)


18” x 24”  

Watercolor on Paper,  

$767.00 (Matted and Framed)

Introspection is part of the internal sojourn that happens in a life. The whirls on the tree trunk speak to this inward life, symbolic of motivations, and directions of the heart, and growth through the passage of time. This has then been exposed, through a cutting away, which shows the rings, and knotting. It is then regrown over through the healing process of living things, although the beautiful scars are readily evident. The trees are planted and grow in their location. They have grown, twisting toward the light. Storms have come and gone, and they may not be in an optimal place, their roots submerged in so much water. It is a metaphor for "blooming where you are planted."

The Lighthouse at Whitefish Point, (copyrighted), by Michelle Curry,

"The Lighthouse at Whitefish Point"

20" x 24"

Oil on Canvas,

(Privately Owned)

In this painting, I wanted to catch the loneliness of this remote Lighthouse, and it's location, as well as somehow symbolically reference the tragic shipwrecks that are part of it's story. The Whitefish Lighthouse was lit in 1849. It was one of the first lighthouses on Lake Superior. It beams out over the entrance to Whitefish Bay. It is known to be one of the stormiest, and most violent places for ships, even into modern times, when the Edmund Fitzgerald, part a long chain of previous catastrophic shipwrecks, sank in 1975. This painting has a feeling reminiscent of Hopper.

(original picture used as reference for the lighthouse portion is used by permission from

Camping by the Old Stone Podium, (copyrighted) by Michelle Curry,

“Camping by the Old Stone Podium”  

Warner Camp Series

18” x 24”  

Watercolor on Paper,  

NFS (Matted and Framed).

This is a scene from Warner Camp, where myself and my family have camped for many years. There is a podium, a place to preach from, and a corresponding stone bench. It is a place of giving and recieving. People camp around it, with their RV’s and tents in the summer. Recently I was speaking to an elderly woman in her 80’s, and she remembers kneeling in prayer there when she was 15 years old. It is a serene and sacred place, shaded by now mature, majestic trees. Sometimes we miss the sacred spaces in our everyday lives, camping right beside them.

Kal Haven Culvert 1, (copyrighted), by Michelle Curry,

“Kal Haven Culvert 1”  

22” x 30”  

Watercolor on Paper

Privately Owned (Matted and Framed).

I enjoy walking on the Kal-Haven Trail, with my children, and my dogs, and taking pictures, to later use in landscapes. The Kal-Haven Trail is a place that was once a train track, which has been repurposed as a trail for hiking, walking, and biking. Along either side, it yields many views of nature to experience. It extends from South Haven to Battle Creek. The scenes that attract me most, are those vistas which include woods and water. The light of the sun and sky reflected in the water, along with the shade created by the dense overgrowth, creates great contrast in lights and darks creating great beauty and drama. It is a challenge to problem-solve how to effectively portray so much complexity, and yet retain harmony enough to be able to see it as a whole, and to bring the viewer into the reality within the picture plane. Reflecting that beauty in my art, hopefully creates for the viewer, a momentum for continued awareness and love for the earth and the environment.

Pebbles in the Sand, (copyrighted) by Michelle Curry,

“Pebbles in the Sand”   

5” x 8” 

Colored Pencil 

$121.00 (Matted and Framed).

In this small landscape, there is a whole large environment to traverse. Various textures, and colors, and values translate into different places for the eye to rest while the sun's white heat overhead beams down. The way of escape is through the white keyhole. Then just a little further beyond is the cool relief of blue water, a metaphor for persevering, and hope. Seasons of life can sometimes be a matter of perspective. Sometimes we make a mountain out of a molehill. We think we will never get through some times of difficulty, but relief is just beyond, a short way away.

Homesteader, (copyrighted) by Michelle Curry,


18” x 24” 

Pastel on Paper   

Privately Owned (Matted and Framed).

This pastel painting draws deeply from the well of impressionistic painting. The scene has the feeling of  a simple farm, and the life that goes with it. The woman in the foreground is milking her cows out in front of her home. When I was younger I worked during college one summer on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. I also had a friend who homesteaded their land, with her husband, so as to provide for their family. This has been the way people have lived throughout history for hundreds and thousands of years all over the world. There is something rich and beautiful, as well as sustainable environmentally about this kind of life.

Random Planning, (copyrighted) by Michelle Curry,

Random Planning
Colored Pencil, 9x12 (Privately Owned)

This kind of sculpturing of the landscape is so environmentally sound, and so delightful to behold! The stones are natural, "random" objects, but the way they are arranged, is obviously carefully thought out, and "planned." The name "Random Planning" is a bit of humor, an oxymoron.

Day Beautiful, (copyrighted) by Michelle Curry,

“Day Beautiful” 

18” x 22” 

Digital Watercolor and Pastel

Archival Prints for sale upon request

Day Lilies are called Hemerocallis which comes from the Greek words ἡμέρα (hēmera) "day" and καλός (kalos) "beautiful,"which means the flower is actually named, “Day Beautiful.” Each bloom just blooms one time in a day. Jesus spoke of the “Lilies of the field,” and that there blooming was of greater than that of Solomon, the message being that He would provide for our needs. Also the scripture in James 1:11, speaks about the transience of our lives, describing the flower as a fading thing, but the further promise is an eternal crown in vs.12.  It is a reminder to make the most of each day, to make the most of our purpose for being here, trusting God to daily meet our needs. As a Christian I am reminded that I am called unto good works. It reminds me of the Roman/Latin saying, “Carpe Diem!” Which means “Seize the Day!”

Snow Fall, (copyrighted) by Michelle Curry,

“Snow Fall” 

22” x 30”  

Watercolor on Paper 

$1,109.00 (Matted and Framed).

This Watercolor painting catches the moment when a gust of wind catches clumps of snow and they are drifting to the ground. The sunlight catches them and the particles create a sparkling atmosphere. The sun and shadow play under the trees. The foreground is in shadow, and the road takes you beyond, into the sunlight.

Pride and Predjudice, (copyrighted) by Michelle Curry,

“Pride and Prejudice” 

11" x 14"” 

Graphite on Paper 

NFS (Matted and Framed).

This drawing was begun from life, en plain air. Symbolic of the differences in the natures of people, is shown in the different foliages by their treatment. The sapling to the left is whip like, and the suckers have dark, small leaves. The other plant, below it to the right, has generous, (and in the fall, yellow) leaves. Everyone has a different point of view, based upon their personality, and position in life. The title Pride and Prejudice, taken from Jane Austen, is used to draw attention to the visual metaphor.

Field of Flowers, (copyrighted) by Michelle Curry,

Field of Flowers
Pastel, 18 x 24 (Private Collection)

This wild place is full of visual music. Color, and light and undulating patterns rhythmically sing us a song of awe and wonder. It is a place of beauty, rugged loneliness, and vast untamed space, teeming with life.

The Sentinels, (copyrighted) by Michelle Curry,

“The Sentinels” 

Warner Camp Series

16” x 20” 

Oil on Canvas 

Privately owned.

This painting is inspired from where we camp, at Warner Memorial Camp in the summer. The trees are slanted, as though standing against something, or holding up under stress. Their roots are very large, and strong, gripping the earth. These trees are very tall, and majestic. The colors shift, changing tonally, as your eyes move through them, into the picture plane.