GTPulse: Local Artist Commits to 100 Days of Drawing Northern Michigan Plants

What do your stay home projects look like? From cleaning out garages and basements to learning how to make bread, quarantined people everywhere are finding all kinds of ways to occupy their time. Local artist Maia Hausler has a project of her own she’s working on and it should be time-consuming enough to get her through quarantine. She’s drawing different kinds of Northern Michigan wildlife for 100 days.

100 day projects are all over Instagram. If you look at posts tagged with #100dayproject you’ll find posts featuring sketches, paintings, pottery and even baking. The idea is simple, pick a project, do it for 100 days and share your progress on Instagram.

Maia has been drawing since childhood. She studied fine art and environmental studies in college and has combined her love for both through the local art she creates and sells through her Leelanau based shop Wander Gather. Her illustrations are sold as prints, stickers, cards and other lovely paper creations that look too pretty to use.

After college, she worked for the Leelanau Conservancy before starting Wander Gather full time. Most of the illustrations Maia creates are inspired by the beauty of Northern Michigan nature in Leelanau County. Flowers, leaves, fruit and other plants all come to life with bold color and delicate details like the pointed edges of sugar maple leaves or the warm gradient of a ripe peach. 

She’s surrounded by the nature that inspires her and she’s using some of her quarantine time to hike and draw what she sees for 100 days. In compliance with social distancing rules, she takes her hikes solo. They’re not only a way for her to get inspired artistically, but it’s also a nice way to break up the day and get some fresh air and vitamin D. Does anything sound more tranquil?

Her education in environmental studies comes in handy for her #100daychallenge. She provides the color palette that she sees in each plant next to its sketch along with a little blurb of field notes about each particular plant and where she found it. A strawberry found in Port Oneida Rural Historic District noted how the little hairs on the stem and underbelly of the leaves point up, and how the tops of the leaves are a darker sap green.

100 days is a lot to commit to, but I keep hearing the words of my peers, family and friends when I think about it, ‘what else is there to do?’ You can follow along with Maia and her 100 day journey through her Instagram page at Wander Gather. You’ll be able to learn a little bit more about some of the plants native to the region and maybe be inspired to start going on daily hikes of your own. What could you challenge yourself to do for the next 100 days?




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Categories: GTPulse