Posted by: Kath Usitalo | December 15, 2010

Homemade: Gwen Frostic Prints, Naturally

A brilliant cardinal, an example of Gwen Frostic's nature prints

If you look up at the stars and have a wondrous feeling
If your heart delights at the antics of a chickadee
If a little toad winks as you pass by
—or you wish he would—
Then Gwen Frostic Prints are created for you.

(from an early promotional message)

Count the late Gwen Frostic as one of Michigan’s natural wonders.

Born in Sandusky, Michigan on April 26, 1906, the artist/writer/naturalist and businesswoman lived and worked in an organic structure of stone, wood and glass, seemingly sprung from the earth on 250 acres near Benzonia, until she passed away a day shy of her 95th birthday on April 25, 2001.

Since April 26, 1964 she had welcomed visitors from around the globe to her world of fields, woods, water and the creatures that were the subjects of her illustrations and poetry.

My favorite from Gwen: the happy raccoon

Nooks and crannies and oddities of nature share the rambling space with an art studio, sales and display rooms, nature library and print shop, where a dozen Heidelberg printing presses turn out the notecards, calendars, books, and other paper pieces bearing Gwen’s words and illustrations from her original handcut linoleum blocks.

Images of an upright raccoon, a goose in flight, wildflowers, songbirds, trees and squirrels are scooped up by those who admire not only her work but the seamless integration of her life and art.

Gwen’s legacy lives under new owners Greg and Kim Forshee, locals who understand the importance of the place for its unique story and because it is a draw for tourism in the Northwest corner of the Lower Peninsula.

The studio closes from December 23-February 28, but online, phone and mail orders are fulfilled all year ’round.

NOTE: Be sure to check the Gwen Frostic website for holiday shopping coupons.

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