Sanctuary artist in residence to start painting at Island Park

Courtesy Photo Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary welcomes its summer artist in residence, Richard Jordan of Kalamazoo, who will arrive Thursday and stay until Sept. 4. Above is one of his paintings, “Into the Meadow.” He specializes in outdoor scenes.

ALPENA — The Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary Board is pleased to announce Richard Jordan as its summer artist in residence.

The Kalamazoo painter will arrive in Alpena on Thursday and stay until Sept. 4. He will be found with his painter’s easel along the waterways of the sanctuary and on Island Park, painting and interacting with the public during his time here.

“As we have done each year, the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary will sponsor an artist in residence to interpret the sanctuary environment, create a work of art which will be part of the permanent collection in the archives of the Sanctuary, and will be housed in the proposed Wildlife Sanctuary Interpretive Center,” said Mark Beins, coordinator of the artist in residence program.

Jordan is the director of the Plein Air Artists of Western Michigan, a group of artists who paint landscapes outdoors year-round.

“He will be enjoying and visually assessing those places which are representative of the beauty found here,” Beins said. “He works in oil on canvas and has created thousands of paintings.”

Richard Jordan

Jordan will participate in two upcoming events, free and open to the public.

From 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28, he will host a discussion and presentation about his paintings at the Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan.

At 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29, Jordan will talk about and demonstrate how he works in a session in the classroom at Art in the Loft.

For more information about Jordan, visit his website at www.artistrichardjordan.com.

“I began plein air painting in 1997 and it changed my life,” Jordan stated on his website. “I knew I had found what my inner artist had longed for. At that time, I was mid-way through a 28-year career with the Kalamazoo Gazette as a page designer and illustrator.”

In 2008, he formed the Plein Air Artists of West Michigan and continues to serve as its director today.

“I began teaching plein air workshops in 2013 and find them very energizing and beneficial to my own growth as an artist.”

Jordan studies the works of American Tonalists and American Impressionists.

“The Tonalists sought to capture mood and the spiritual harmony of nature, while the Impressionists were less concerned with emotion and instead painted the effects of light and shadow,” Jordan stated. “Both schools relied heavily on plein air painting, either as finished works in themselves or as studies for larger studio paintings.

“Soaking in the surrounding landscape is as important to me as the painting itself,” he continued. “The sights, sounds and smells all play a role in my energy and mood right up to the final stroke of color.

“Artist Phil Dike wrote, ‘A painting is good not because it looks like something, but rather because it feels like something.’ I firmly believe that’s true and hope with each painting, I get a little closer to that goal.”

Beins, a painter himself, said Jordan is “a superior painter.”

“It’s an attractive thing for artists in residence to do,” Beins said. “He’s really looking forward to it. So he’s built for this, because he’s an outdoor landscape painter.”

For more information, contact Beins at 989-340-0801 or markbeins@charter.net.