Hi! I’m Michelle Constantine Wiarda. Let’s just say, Michelle. I’m an artist, photographer, designer and the owner of G2G Visions, LLC. I finally started my own company dedicated to fine art, photography and graphic design. I’m very excited about the possibilities.
You’ll see an Osprey in the image on the header of my blog and if you visit my site you will see other Osprey “helping me out”. I am fascinated with the “sea-hawk”. I have been since I first noticed an Osprey family on Cape Cod, five years ago. I see the same couple every year now. I have learned a lot about them since, and they are amazing. I chose the Osprey as my mascot because they have incredible vision.
I have tons of experience in a myriad of areas in the artistic realm. From photographing one aircraft, while flying in another, to painting murals on walls, to working as a grip on commercial shoots. My degree is in Commercial Art. I’ve worked with traditional and digital media. I want to share my experiences and learn new techniques too.
I have enjoyed many successful years as a graphic designer, art director, creative director, artist, photographer, and on occasion, a writer. I have tremendous diversity in my experience.
I started out working as a freelance designer for nearly three years. I created corporate identities for new companies, designed their logos, stationary and business cards. I designed ads, brochures and other printed materials.
I was approached with an opportunity to work as a full time graphic designer for a catalog company, which I accepted, and where I learned so much from a lot of amazing people. They really inspired me. I was responsible for the catalog design, layout, for direction to photographers and writers, and for the color correction of all of the images used in the catalogs as well as for the printing of the catalog. I attended lots of press runs. I actually enjoy working with the color correction people, and the press operators, to obtain the closest possible color to the actual one that we can. I have created and designed a brand new catalog with the help of a great group of people.
I went on to work as marketing director and art director for a B-to-B catalog/internet company where I learned an entirely different side of cataloging. In addition to producing a 300+ page catalog yearly, I created trade show booth designs and collateral, e-mail blasts and posters, and I worked on compiling mailing lists, and choosing lists to send specific catalogs or e-mail blasts to. I have been responsible for every aspect of the graphic design and direct mail marketing process, from concept to completion.
I am currently perfecting my knowledge of web design while I work on my own website. What better place to learn and to show off your work? I learn something, and sometimes, many new things every single day.
I have had a love of painting since I was a child and after exploring with pastels, and acrylics, I settled on watercolor as my favorite painting medium. It is not the easiest of mediums to work with, but it is so beautiful. My work is held in numerous private collections, and my paintings have been displayed at Regal Fine Art in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and on Antique Row in Palm Beach, Florida. I am currently exploring the world of digital painting and I am working on completing my website where all of my work will be posted in my online galleries.
I have been taking photographs since I was a teenager. I was required to take a photography course while in college where we had a darkroom for processing black and white photos. I found another passion in photography right then and there. I love to shoot landscapes and seascapes, places, and people unaware, and birds and wildlife. For many years I had a darkroom in my home, I even processed color images at home. Now I process all of my images in Photoshop. Photoshop is amazing and does every single thing I could do in a darkroom only faster and better.
I also use Corel Painter and a Wacom Tablet, where I can really create some incredible pieces that look just like “non-digital” paintings. I create pastels, oils, watercolor paintings, pencil drawings, and pen and ink, all digitally! This is the way to go if you like to create at night and love painting, but would rather not work on your non-digital paintings at night and possibly distort your colors. Painter doesn’t leave you with a mess to clean up either.
I have a vast library of images, over 20,000. Nearly 10,000 of them are on film and have been carefully preserved. Now that I no longer have a traditional darkroom, I scan my images that are on film with a Nikon scanner to digitize them. I make prints of my images, I use them to make paintings, and I make paintings out of them digitally. I am never without something to do!
I am constantly trying new things, new procedures and new equipment. I cannot get enough and there aren’t enough hours in my day to do all that I would like to. I thank God every day for my talent. I cannot imagine being without it.
I hope that we can share ideas here and grow together.