These Women Paint! is a group of six women that reside in rural southwestern Michigan. We artists come together on a weekly basis to paint, critique and challenge each other with new ideas and painting information.  We enjoy each other's company and dedication to the arts.  Our on-line gallery displays original fine art at fair market value; it includes landscapes, florals, wildlife and abstracts in a variety of mediums.

Our members are (left to right): Jude Hardin, Marilyn Troutman, Karen VanDam Michmerhuizen, Wendy Seelhoff and Sara Haveman.  (Not pictured yet, Joy Richmond.)

Marilyn Troutman's favorite mediums are oil and pastel. When creating her art, she expresses nature's beauty in landscapes, wildlife, water, portraiture and the quiet beauty of still life. One of her most exciting experiences is painting en plein air. She joined the Michigan Plein Air Painters and took her easel outside. She loves being outdoors, doing what she enjoys and being among nature. Marilyn has been in many juried shows and received numerous awards. A member of the Great Lakes Patel Society, Ottawa Shores Plein Air Painters, Grand Valley Artist, Michigan Plein Air Painters, Holland Friends of Art and Allegan Area Arts Council.

Jude Hardin's lifelong interest in art coupled with an insatiable need to learn new creative avenues initiated her focus on painting nature's beauty later on in life. Countless hours of self- and professional-instruction continues to feel her passion to express God's glory with oils, pastels and watercolors. Jude participates in juried shows and has received several awards which encourages her to keep on exploring her new love, painting!  A member of Allegan Area Arts Council, Great Lakes Pastel Society, Holland Area Arts Council, Pickle Street School Studio and Plein Air Artists of West Michigan. "Art brings me joy; my goal is to share that joy with you!"

Sara Haveman has been making art since childhood. Nothing gave her greater joy than holding a brush loaded with tempura paint! After graduating from Western MI University with a B.S. in art education, 30 years were spent as an high school art teacher and after that several more working in summers art camps hoping to instill a appreciation of the arts in youth. Now all that is behind her and  personal  art is the central focus. Sara has had extended studies in workshops of  many fine artists whom she admires. Art affiliations include: Pickle Street School Studio, Allegan Area Arts Council, Great Lakes Pastel Society, Plein Air Painters of West Michigan, Holland Friends of Art. Sara has received Best of Show, honorable mentions  and work has been displayed in hospitals, restaurants, libraries and the Fair. It is in held in public and private collections.

Karen VanDam Michmerhuizen's art career began with drawing in elementary school when she should have been studying. Her teacher would pinch her skinny arm and ask if her work was finished. Mostly self-taught, she has attended workshops, belongs to painting groups, views videos of artists she admires, attends online art instructions and tries to paint daily.  Karen has lived in West Michigan her entire life.  "We live in a beautiful part of the world and as an artist, I see endless and challenging venues to paint. Many of my inspirations come from the ordinary and everyday life. My ideal is to have the viewer feel he or she has also been or would like to be at the same spot, feel the sun, hear the waves or smell the fragrance of flowers. Art is a continual learning process; the more I know, the more I want to know." Art affiliations include: Pickle Street Studio, Holland Area Art Council, Holland Friends of Art, Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society, Plein Air Artists of West Michigan, Friends of Alten GVSU, and Glen Arbor Arts Center.

Wendy L. Seelhoff acquired her painting experience both by formal schooling and by studying with local artists. She began her formal art education at the University of WI, Madison, after already attaining a Bachelor of Science of Education from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN., After being married, she and her husband moved to Kearney, NB, where she studied with a local oil painter and joined the Platte River China Painters' Guild. Her next venture took her to Roswell, NM -- Georgia O'Keefe territory. There she invested time working with the Yucca China Painters Guild and oil painting as her family grew. After her family was transplanted to Hopkins, MI, she obtained her teaching art certification at Western MI University. The Outdoor Encounter Group she attended while enrolled at Western had a profound influence on her as an artist. During her summers as a Lutheran elementary teacher, she painted out of her studio at Higgins Lake and joined the Pen and Palatte Painters Guild and took watercolor classes under Scott Rice. Wendy has also had the opportunity to study and meet fellow artists at the Oxbow Center for the Arts in Saugatuck. One of her ventures was working with an entrepreneurial group called GROW for Women in Grand Rapids. For many years, her gallery connections were with Baker Allegan Studios in Allegan. Presently, she studies with master painter Sharon Griffes Tarr, Lansing and paints weekly with Joy Richmonds, Pickle Street Studio, Hopkins, where she also teaches.  "I am excited to see where my art will take me next!"  During the winter months, her studio is located in Hopkins; during the summer, she paints in her northwoods studio, Higgins Lake, Roscommon, MI.


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