Day 241: Ramey Bekish

I had a client ask me the other day why I call myself the wood redeemer, she asked if I used pallets to make my pieces. I told her that was how I started but have moved on to different materials, mediums, and methods. She said her friend also makes furniture from reclaimed wood like I do and sent me a picture of a pallet with wheels that had been painted white and was starting a new life as a coffee table. I did my best to explain what I do, and the purpose behind it all, I don’t know if she understood it, afterwards I was thinking about why I’m so passionate about my job and this is what I came up with.

The Aztec people when building their city’s and temples used no animals to help them they did it all by human power, no wheels or pulleys just 1000’s of people toiling and sweating. They did this because they believed to honor and please their Gods they had to put in effort, time and work, I feel the same way about the wood I “reclaim” or “redeem”. I’ll spend hours even days sanding, (sometimes by hand) cutting, routing, polishing, staining and painting an old piece of wood that I found on the side of the road rather than simply going and spending $20 on the same wood at Home Depot, why? Not because its “free” Lord knows between the time and the money I spend in my monthly sandpaper budget. It’s not because I love getting dirty (although I do) it’s not because I enjoy smelling like a burnt tire in an elderly persons closet either. Believe it or not its not because I enjoy the holes all over my hands from splinters, the constant presence of spiders or termites, its not even because of the coughing fits the sun rotted dust particles cause. It’s because each of my pieces, every single one takes a bunch of sweat most of the times blood, and on rare occasion a few tears that you won’t find in a piece of lumber from a big box store. They take time and effort and determination and most of all they take love, if I didn’t love every person I make a piece for I would just run down to Lowe’s and spend a few bucks on wood to get the piece done and get paid. No, to me it’s that effort that makes a piece special, special enough that someone wants hang something I made in their home and it will be looked at daily – to me that’s very special, an honor. Redeeming wood isn’t putting wheels on an existing piece of wood – that’s simply reusing, redeeming means changing everything about that material so when its done you can’t imagine it was something that someone threw away, everything deserves a second chance at life. Anyone can make a table from nice new oak, it’s not too tough to make something beautiful from something beautiful, but to make something just as beautiful from something labeled as garbage is an art in itself. In my world the most beautiful things are the ones that have been restored, the ones you put the most time and effort in to, not the ones that cost the most. The pictured piece is made from a 1/2 sheet of plywood some one had dumped on the side of the road, one if my best friends Renny dropped it off so decided to make him a piece from it, the frame is from an old redwood fence post I had found during one of my wood finding expeditions. I used water down paints in the engraved “love” to make swirls like water in a river. This piece cost about $5 to produce but it took me about 20 hours from start to finish, and now that old plywood and 4×4 get a new start – a new life… They’ve been redeemed.
I’ve been a full-time artist for 6 years and in Yuma for almost 3 years, I started doing carvings right about a year ago, I have 0 art related education not even an art class – I’m self taught, whick kinda gives me my own style instead of a mentors. to put it simply I’m just a big kid that like to paint, and somehow I got lucky enough to make a job out of it.
on facebook “the wood redeemer”
instagram – the wood redeemer
twitter @thewoodredeemer
youtube @Ramey Bekish

Day 240: Gail Reilly

“Frequently inspired by the duality of beauty and danger in the Sonoran Desert, Gail Reilly uses tattooing as an instrument to cultivate self-love in others through carefully articulated artwork. She enjoys combining realistic subject matter with geometric forms and strong line compositions in her custom tattoos. Through the use of gentle tattooing, Gail seeks to adorn each canvas with a timeless piece of artwork that will last a lifetime.”
Instagram: gail_tattoo
Artwork inquiries can email
gailreilly_berylchest coverup
gailreilly_letstrythisagain (1)

Day 239: Karen Mulder

Artist bio

Karen Mulder 

Karen Mulder was born and raised in Hawaii. Surrounded by rich vivid beauty, infinite color, culture, history and an exposure to the Arts at a young age, she decided to be an artist at age 7. With the combination of independence, unique vision and the diversity of the Islands, her artwork embodies the vibrant aloha spirit.

Her artwork is Bright Stylized Abstract– full of color, fluid lines, and layers intertwined. Her pieces are inspired by the Fauvism style, and burst with energy, free form and are vividly expressionistic. Her voice and aesthetic weave the intangible breadth of life and divinity of Hawaii into colorful brilliance. As an artist, she begins her process with inks that flow, spread and spill with fluid freedom. From there, each piece is cultivated by a layering of heart and soul with pen, acrylic and oil. She also enjoys using watercolors.

With degrees in Elementary Education, Journalism and Sociology she has always had an interest in the Arts, Education and Children. As a professional artist, she incorporates her love of color, Hawaii, and the arts into every facet of life. She has raised 4 children and has 3 grandchildren. She paints daily in her home studio in Chandler, Arizona.

Since her first art show at 16, her art has been exhibited in local art shows and has been chosen to showcase at local businesses.  Her artwork was featured in The Miami River Art Fair, during Art Basel Week in Miami, Florida in 2016. Her paintings were featured in Chandler for a Gallery Exhibit: “Revealed at RedIntegration” in August 2017. In 2018, her artwork appeared in World of Interiors Magazine, Artistic Impressions in March, April and May Issues, and in House & Garden Magazine, Art Edit in April, May and June Issues, both United Kingdom Publications.

Graduating from the Milan Art Institute Art Mastery Program in Queen Creek Arizona in 2017, she plans to continue painting with her island-style flair, educate children and open a Gallery-Studio in Hawaii.


artist statement                         

Karen Mulder

I believe that you share, you give, and you live Aloha. As a Hawaii born artist, I was surrounded by vivid color and culture. Aloha means hello, goodbye and love…it means the breadth of life, it is a spirit of love, peace and goodwill for the land, people and life. Though I am now based in Arizona, I strive to weave the intangible spirit of aloha into bold colorful tangible artwork. My paintings burst with color, fluid lines and layers.

Books and living in Hawaii lead me to dreaming of being an artist. As a little girl, I would spend hours pondering over books about artists, nature and animals. I remember turning pages in a book about Van Gogh. In awe over his artwork and tortured life, I decided to be an artist, at the age of 7 years old.

Though my strict European father and lost in literature mother filled our house with the Arts; books, artifacts, theater, artwork and mainly opera music, my childhood was endless chaos and tumultuous turmoil.  Being full of energy and ideas, I would run and disappear outside for hours, taking solace in nature. I would run off to the mountains or the beach via a ditch that ran all the way up and down.  I chased rainbows, trying to find the pot of gold. I lived in my mind, a dual world of cruelty and fantasy, of fear and beauty.

In my paintings, I aim to capture the moments of raw radiance in a child’s heart where there exists the purity of innocence and hope, where I was hidden in the trees, picking flowers, swimming free and unknowingly fostering independence. My artwork reflects and encompasses taking that breath of courage, emerging with bright boldness and a fiery passion of color to say…. “here I am”!

Hawaii is my heart, light and inspiration. When viewing my artwork, I always hope that people will see through my eyes, a colorful harmony and symphony of a genuine paradise, connecting with my vision of the aloha spirit and be free to chase rainbows. …. aloha karen


Instagram: Karen Mulder Art

FaceBook:  Karen Mulder Art







Hidden Dreams
Hidden Dreams



Emerging art piece






Artist with artwork











Day 238: Nicole McCaiug



A native to Arizona, I live in Chandler with my husband and two children. I’m a professional artist working in a light filled studio that overlooks the backyard. Nature provides peace for my soul and joy for my heart. I spend many daydreaming moments watching the birds or seeing how the light falls.

My work expresses freedom and self-discovery and is based around those early memories of summers exploring the beauty of the outdoor world. I create mostly figurative art, with the subjects in nature and usually with a bird. The images are dreamy, almost surreal with pattern and vivid colors. I find peace while creating and viewing my art. It takes me to another place; it sets me free to dream.

 Artist Statement

I create art that transports me to an ideal outdoor setting where patterns and colors swirl and mix with the subject matter to create a place of wonder and joy that takes me from the reality of the world around me to a place of freedom. My creative process organically evolves through the selection of images and patterns that call out to me. Many of these images are connected to the places I explored as a child, from the forests and meadows of Northern Arizona to the beaches of the California coast.

In my most recent artwork, I am attempting to create a representation of culture through the use of color, pattern, architectural elements and fashion. Culture is a fascination of mine and I plan to travel to many areas around the world in the attempt to absorb the essence of the area and the people that I can later weave into a visual representation. My first oversees excursion was last summer. I participated in an Artist in Residency, Greece,2017. I’m making plans to visit Ireland and Germany, July 2018

Since 2012, I’ve participated in three types of venues, 1) outdoor tent shows in the Mesa and Chandler~art walks, 2) indoor shows at the Phoenix Comic Convention, Tucson Comic Convention, and several smaller conventions throughout Arizona, and 3) inside a bank.

I started selling my work right after college to parents of students that I taught art to.  Since then, I’ve sold in galleries, online, and in person at a variety of indoor and outdoor events. I’ve been working with private collectors since graduating from the Milan Art Institute, August 2017. This fall I’ll be a host on the Prescott Artist Studio Tour and a guest on the Hidden In The Hills Artist Studio Tour in Scottsdale.

Nicole McCaigue … set free to dream …












Early Rise
Early Rise





Day 237: Renferd Koruh


Renferd Koruh is half Hopi and half Tewa from Polacca, Arizona. He was born in Keams Canyon, Arizona in 1984. Koruh’s father is Hopi from the village of Mishongnovi, located on Second Mesa. His mother is Tewa from the village of Hano, located on First Mesa. He was born into the Tobacco clan of his mother and is the child of the Spider clan of his father. Coming from family of five, Renferd is the fourth child. His passion for art is far-reaching stemming from his youth when he fondly observed family members carving and creating pieces that would inspire him for years to come. Koruh began to create his own carvings at the age of ten and has been doing so ever since. Doing so is one way he can convey meaning, stories, and tradition to younger generations who can value the knowledge and express it in their own way. Graduating from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the Fall of 2005 with his Associates Degree in Studio Arts, Koruh plans on continuing his artistic education through further exploration of the field and of the dynamic cultural valuation his peers bring to the table in up and coming pieces. Equally as important for Koruh is his aim to use experiential knowledge and that learned at school for the benefit of Native youth on the reservation through guidance and support. Koruh truly believes that the art created is for the community as much as for the individuals immersed in the art market. For him, positive and spiritual energy is created and resides in every piece. Through this creative process, protection is also created for his community and all people in this world.

Artist Statement

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an artist. Coming from a large family and a community of artists, I was heavily influenced by a wide variety of artistic abilities and intense dedication driven mainly by cultural continuity. Stories and deep meanings were always passed down through oral tradition while the artwork itself was being created. The meaning in the actual designs were always related back to nature and our understanding grew beyond what we were making with our hands and extended to our understanding of what was all around us. I learned purely through observation. It was so amazing to watch my brother and uncles carve their Katsina dolls. The artistic possibilities for a young learning sculptor seemed endless and I felt that as a result, the only option was art school. I knew, however, that what I was doing went beyond simply learning techniques in a scholastic setting. I was taking a piece of Mother Nature, imagining possibilities, and transforming it into a beautiful piece of Hopi art. This process for me has always been breathtaking. Creating Hopi art is one way I can enrich tribal traditions. One of those traditions is the utilization Katsina dolls as teaching instruments for young Hopi children. To reflect that educational aspect, through my artwork I hope to educate a wider audience on the Hopi way of life. I create art to better myself as a young Native American artist, carry on my traditions, and represent all Native people’s in a positive way.

Hopi Creations by Renferd Koruh @HopiCreations.byRenferdKoruh.

Stop Fidgeting Around



Warrior Mouse



Music is Life



A Time of Renewal



2016-01-14 13.15.20
In Flight


Day 236: Esther Bouchard

When you think of the name Esther, you probably envision a lady close to 90 years old, sitting in a rocking chair, watching the sunset from the front porch.

Nope: not this Esther! At 38, she is a youngster when it comes to up-and-coming artists in southern Arizona. Although not originally from here, after 20 years, the ole southwest is now her home.

Esther grew up in rural Maine, a land full of forestry and potato farms. When the fall seasons came, the landscape turned into a rainbow of pigments. Leaves turned from green to a lively spectrum of colors. As temperatures dropped, so did the leaves. With every winter, came a cold darkness. White, brown, and black became vast across the frozen horizon. Although Esther’s adventurous heart found fun outdoors no-matter the season, autumn was her favorite. And there was a certain sadness that creeped in with every snowy season.

But with every spring, colors came back. It was shortly after the spring of her high school graduation, fate presented a unique opportunity. She was given an open invitation to visit Tucson, Arizona. As any young adult , full of energy and possiblity, she saw a chance for change, but paused that thought. Autumn came and went in the Northeast. Winter again prepared to settle upon the territory. Her heart sank. She did not want to spend another season in the dark. All colors were gone by November. She decided it was time to take that leap of faith. She set her sights on the horizon; toward a land of sun. And quite the leap it was, over 3000 miles from Maine! She towed a wood trunk packed with keepsakes and a suitcase of clothes. She boarded the plane for Arizona.

Upon landing, she exited the airport to shock: a wave of hot air encapsulated and stifled her. It was Thanksgiving. However, the only thing on her mind was the sweltering parking garage outside the airport. SHE felt like a cooked turkey. She was to be served to a city that was sure to swallow her whole, as a rattlesnake does it’s prey.

The desert climate felt miserable: no shade, just spiny cactus; no water, just waves of heat and baked dirt. She ignored this observation, deciding to stay. College and work became void of inspiration.

After some years, something changed in her. Esther found ways to merge her past with her present. In her past, the source of her creativity was the quiet, colorful New-England community, with it’s abundant natural resources. In her eyes, the forests were full of adventure. Instead of watching television, she painted, built tree houses, rode bike, picked apples, swam in lakes, and whittled toys from birch tree branches.

In her present, she began to treat Tucson as another place for adventure. Her curious, creative spirit reached out again for meaning, to find color.

Esther began to visit old abandoned mining towns. She investigated the history behind the many ghost towns in Arizona. It was as though the voices of the people who once lived there began to speak to her. Through these off-road adventures, she began to see color everywhere. This was because her heart thirst to see more to life than the desolate desert, with it’s brown and grey earth.

The Tucson skyline seemed to twinkle more brilliantly at night. Downtown had more meaning as she read books about the colonials and Pueblo people who settled the area.

Esther found a way to bring color back into the desert with her artwork. She focuses her paintings around the historical structures that hide in plain sight, in and around Tucson. She paints them with accuracy, but adds a special punch of color. It’s these colors that breathes life into the history of Arizona. She brings a voice back into the places that once were very much alive.

The banner she hangs at her exhibitions has a rainbow with a butterfly. This is because Esther now realizes, as an artist, she brings the rainbow of colors with her from her past. The colors were never gone. Her eyes just needed a different perspective.

She now enjoys Arizona’s natural resources, in a desert land she calls home. In her free time, you are likely to find Esther gallivanting the many trails on Mt Lemon, Tanque Verde Canyon, and the hillsides of Bisbee. She mixes work and play by foraging branches to craft as walking sticks. Custom carved rattlesnake canes are a popular item. She encourages others to find the color in their lives; to express themselves in a way that brings meaning. And thus came the name for her business: Art Expressions.

Although she misses the many colors of autumn in the Northeast, she finds a sweet medley of colors in Tucson’s unique sunsets. Never before, had she expressed her awe. Her paintings reflect this. And when the crack of monsoon hits and the sky dances with lightning, more creativity ignites.

She may have intended to simply visit two decades ago, but with her fresh, creative perspective, she saw a rainbow of reasons to stay.

Gaslight Theater in Tucson


The historic Rialto Theater, Tucson, oil pastels and paint- marker on canvas.
Longhorn Restaurant, Tombstone
The Historic Southern Pacific, Train Depot, Tucson.
Tucson Historic Fox Theater Oil & acrylic marker on canvas







Day 235: Bruce Cormier

Painting the universe a little at a time…

While I work in many mediums, these works were done entirely with cans of regular household spray-paint, using no brushes, no special tips or altering the cans in any way. This is the medium I’m most known for since I paint weekly in public places, in front of large crowds. Because of the performance aspect of this art, I create these paintings fairly quickly, usually in about 10 minutes or less on average.

 I love the mystery and the infinite possibility of the unknown universe, it has fascinated me since I was a child. It’s unfathomable endless vastness is so inspiring to me, if we can dream of something then it very well could exist somewhere out there in the infinity of space and time. While I paint a lot of space themed paintings, I still paint a wide variety of other themes and styles. I’ve also done countless custom pieces over the years that range in the level of detail and creation time, rather than my fairly quick street performances.

Instagram: bruce_spraypaint

Facebook: Bruce Cormier, spraypaint artist’

Planetary Landscape 2018
Planetary Landscape 2018
The Thinker
The Thinker 2018
Tree Frog
Tree Frog

Bruce Cormier_Phoenix

Floating Tree 2018
Floating Tree