Mary Blocksma's

"Lake Lover's Year"

May 26 & 27, 2001

"The Timmel Collection's" Spring opening exhibition "Lake Lover's Year" will be an unusual art show combining a visual and verbal celebration of Lake Michigan by writer and artist Mary Blocksma. It will open Saturday, May 26, at The Timmel Collection in downtown Saugatuck. The show will feature Blocksma's new full-color art book, "LAKE LOVER'S YEAR," as well as many of the book's original watercolors. The Saugatuck opening is particularly appropriate, as most of "LAKE LOVER'S YEAR" was written and painted in a cottage between Douglas Beach and Oval Beach. Blocksma painted both those beaches. She also painted the view from her cottage window 150 times, "as play," she says, "as meditation, and as a self-taught course in watercolor."

"I was trying to astonish my friends with Lake Michigan's mood and color variations," Blocksma explains." Although I'm a writer, words weren't enough. So I taught myself to paint." What began as a lark, however, gathered energy. After a few months, Blocksma arranged thirty-six of the small paintings of the Lake Michigan window paintings done from October through December into a poster format and had it printed. That poster was so successful that she then did a second with work done from January through May. "When I was asked for a third poster to complete the year, I couldn't do it," Blocksma explains. "I was on Beaver Island in the summer. So I did paintings of the island and other Michigan beaches, kept a careful journal and ended up doing a book." Mary Blocksma, who has been called "Lady of the Lakes" and "Wander Woman" by the Michigan press, has just published her third Great Lakes book, Lake Lover's Year," which journals the Lake Michigan shorelines in words and full-color art. Readers who have been waiting for Blocksma's next Great Lakes adventure will be amazed at her versatility in this new full-color art book. Not only does she journal her life along a Great Lake, but she paints it, almost daily, providing an unusually intimate look at both creative processes. "Lake Lover's Year" ends up telling the story of itself, an adventure that, although the book covers a year, actually takes over three. "Lake Lover's Year" really is useful as inspiration for adventure, creativity, and life over fifty. It's a workshop in focus, a call to action, a countdown for that big leap off the couch.

Whatever possessed her to paint the lake 150 times from the same window? "I wanted to astonish my friends (words alone didn't do it) with the endless variations of mood and color performed daily...." Blocksma writes in her introduction. Blocksma's work--over twenty books--has been featured by Quality Paperback Book Club, the Rodale Book Club, Reading Rainbow, Junior Literary Guild, and Reading Is Fundamental. Once a resident of Saugatuck. she now lives in Bay City.

"The Timmel Collection" will be hosting an Artist Open House on Saturday and Sunday, May 26 & 27 from Noon to 5:00 PM to meet Mary and view her recent work. For more information about the Open House or the "Lake Lover's Year Show," contact " The Timmel Collection" at 616-857-7274. " The Timmel Collection" is open daily in season 10 to 5PM and by appointment. Mary's full array of artwork can be seen at "The Timmel Collection" web site, www.thetimmelcollection.

Examples of Mary's work to show the entire 2001 season. Contact "Collector Services" for details.

To See More of Mary's work, click on Mary Blocksma