• Introducing: Cam DeCaussin

    I would like to formally announce my engagement and introduce you to my other half and fiance, artist Cam DeCaussin.

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    It is important to me that my viewers know this because we are both artists and I can definitely say that I would not be much good at my work without him.  Together we work as a unit, not only as a couple, but also creatively.  We brain storm together and work in the studio together. We go to art shows together and critique each other’s work.  In fact I will rarely send out a painting for a client unless it gets Cam’s approval.  Cam knows my work better than anyone. DSC_9956

    Cam is an artist too…a photo realistic oil painter, we could not be more different in both the medium, process and style.

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    Cam at his recent gallery showing at Central Michigan University “Continuum” in February 2012.

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    An Artistic Journey Together…
    Cam and I met while studying art & design at Grand Valley State University.  At first we were just friends and then classmates working and studying together in the studio during all hours of the day.  Cam is the reason I got through my first and only oil painting class.  I helped him when it was time to study watercolor too.  We fell in love in the painting studios.  We both graduated from the Illustration program and received our BFA (bachelor of fine art)I graduated in 2009 and Cam in 2010.

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    Cam and I will be married in the church we claim as our own,Immanuel Lutheran Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan in September 2012.  Together, we stand on our solid foundation, Jesus Christ.

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    My new name will be Amy DeCaussin.  I’m excited to change it, but a little nervous about my professional career because I’m afraid people won’t recognize me anymore.  This is why I named my company Funamals, but my name is often still used with it too.

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    We got this wonderful sign for our home from our friend Jennifer Chiodini at Click & Create Alphabet Photography. It is really cool to have something personal in our home to recognize what we will become…..The DeCaussin’s

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    I feel that in addition to knowing my work, by knowing Cam and his work one can fully understand me better as an artist.  Without him, you really only see half of the picture.  I’m so glad to have this opportunity to share with you our life as it evolves.

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    Photos by the amazing Amy Carroll Photography.

     

    Amy DeCaussin specializes in Illustration.  View her work here, amydecaussin.com.

    For illustration, image licensing, agent representation,

    and other creative projects contact Amy: amydecaussin@gmail.com.

    ©Amy DeCaussin All Rights Reserved.

     

  • Possum, Joey and the Tree

    A Short Story by Amy DeCaussin.

    Joey always took chances but he had the most fun too.  Throw him in a campfire and he would dance in the flames.  Possum took the rope and tied it tightly to hold down the fort they had built with sticks, leaves and mud.  The wind was picking up and Possum was on edge, just sure the destruction of their newly founded abode was imminent.

    The rain came after the first wave of wind.  Joey and Possum scrambled into their hut.  Joey began to sing a song, much like the guys on the boat in the movie “Jaws,” by Steven Spielberg.  Immediately annoyed, Possum put his paws over his ears.

    “How can you sing at a time like this?  We’re going to blow away!” Possum cried.  Joey sat on the ground, no physical response to Possum.  His eyes were closed and he was rocking back and forth with a grin on his face.  He seemed to capture the essence of a hippy rock star known as Bob Dylan, an artist much older than Joey himself.  Eventually Possum gave up on trying to spark a reaction out of Joey.  He huffed as he turned back to his corner, curled up and eventually fell asleep.

    Possum woke up the next morning with the sound of chirping birds outside.  The storm was gone, although the ground was still wet.  Much to his surprise the hut was still in tact.  A few leaves had blown off, but otherwise it was still in good condition.  Joey was outside cooking up some breakfast.  Grubs were Possum’s favorite and Joey had his own unique way of preparing them.  They were as delicious as buttered popcorn mixed with basil and honey. Possum licked his paws clean and thanked Joey for the hunger fix.  Then Joey looked up at a tall pine tree nearby, as if it had suddenly called his name.  Unaware of Joey’s change of interest, Possum slumped down near a log and closed his eyes.  He thought now was a good time for a nap.

    “Hey, Possum.  Possum!  Do you see that tree over there?” Joey asked.  With as little energy as possible, Possum cracked open one eye, looked at Joey and then gazed over at the tree.

    “Yeah its a nice tree hum ding umorfel” he mumbled.

    “I think we should climb the tree” Joey said.  Possum did not respond.  Joey trotted over and surveyed the tree.  It was a very tall pine tree and probably very old too.  It resided next to a peaceful brook, the rush of water eddying through it.  He stood right next to the trunk and looked way up at the top and smiled.  Joey loved a good challenge.

    “Urmpf!” Possum was jolted out of slumber as Joey pounced on him.  He pushed him back and forth until he was wide awake.

    “Possum!  We have to climb that tree!!  Come on!” he shouted.

    “What do you wanna do that for?  What kind of crazy goes and just climbs up a tree when he can stay perfectly safe right here on the ground?” Possum was disgruntled.

    They both stood at the base of the trunk, peering up at the top of the tree.  The very top was thin and swayed in the breeze.  Joey began to climb the branches.

    “Joey WAIT!” Possum jumped up and grabbed onto Joey’s legs.  Now he was stuck in an awkward position, dangling from a branch unable to move with Possum weighting him down at the bottom.  Possum let go and Joey jumped down.

    “WHAT is your problem!!?” Joey shouted, out of breath.  Possum cowered down for a moment, then gathered his wits and pointed one claw towards Joey.

    “You always do this!  You always think you can go and do whatever you want and the world is just going to be fine with it!  You just expect mother nature to bend all the rules for you–that you can climb a tree that is way too high with pointy needles and achieve some sort of zen or something?” Possum fumed.

    Joey laughed, “whatever,” he snorted.  With that he picked himself back up and began to amble up the branches of the tall pine tree.  Possum sat with his back against the tree trying to calm down.  When Joey got to the top he was really excited.

    “Possum!” he shouted, “There are some really neat grubs up hear!  Ooh and they’re tasty too!  They would be really good in my grub stew!”  Possum turned to look up at Joey.

    “You’re just saying that to get me to come up there.” Possum snuffed.

    “No I’m not.  I wanna bring them down but I need help.  Fetch me a sack and bring it up to me.” Joey instructed.  Possum, hesitant at first slowly went back to the hut to get a sack.  He brought it back over to the tree, put his paws on the base of the trunk and looked up.

    “How do I know its going to be okay?” Possum asked Joey.

    “What’s the worst that could happen?” Joey asked.

    “I could fall!” Possum replied.

    “Okay.  So now you know.  That’s the worst thing.  So just go for it now.” Joey answered as he was picking off the grubs.  Possum began to climb up the tree.

    “…I could die, too.” Possum grumbled under his breath.

    When he got up to Joey he shuttered in fear.  Joey told him not to look down.  They began gathering all the grubs that they could find.  Possum couldn’t wait to have some of Joey’s delicious grub stew when they finally got back to the safety of the ground.  Each one looked so delectable.  There was a grub hanging out on a branch away from the stability of the trunk.  Slowly and carefully Possum reached for it.

    “Woah!  Look at you taking all sorts of chances today!” Joey said.  He was delighted to see his friend finally living in the moment.  Possum was so close to the little creature.  His mouth watered and he was almost there.  Suddenly a twig snapped and Possum went plummeting down towards the earth, screaming the whole way.  Joey’s stomach dropped as he saw his friend take a dive.

    Splash!  Cold.  Rough.  Moving!  Possum had landed in the brook.  Disoriented, he tried to maneuver his head above the water so he could breath.  Then he realized that he was being whisked away by the current and he didn’t know how to swim.  Possum had never been in water before.  He kicked and splashed.  The water had all control over his body.  He floated along down the current for what seemed like forever.  A loud whoosh filled Possum’s ears and he felt like he had been punched in the stomach.  Then he realized that he was being carried and before he knew it, he was resting on the bank of the river looking up at the leaves on the trees.  Shocked, he laid there coughing and catching his breath.  He was numb from the cold water.  Now the sun was warming him back up and as it did, his mind came back to him too.  Joey had rescued him from the water.

    “Thanks Joey,” was all Possum could muster.  Joey was out of breath too, struggling to speak.  He told him that he had lost all of the grubs on the way down the tree.  Possum’s mouth went dry thinking about how he wouldn’t have any stew tonight.  Joey picked him up and helped Possum back to the hut.  Safe at last and exhausted, a calm came over them both.  They sat, leaned up against a log.  Possum was reflecting on the days events, playing them over and over in his head.

    “Well what do you think?” Joey asked him.

    “I…I think I really like swimming.” Possum said, surprised by his own response.

    Amy DeCaussin specializes in Illustration.  View her work here, amydecaussin.com.

    For illustration, image licensing, agent representation,

    and other creative projects contact Amy: amydecaussin@gmail.com.

    ©Amy DeCaussin All Rights Reserved.

  • Article feature in The Rapidian

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    Thank you so much to Alaina Clarke for writing this article about me in The Rapidian.

  • Holy Cow and WOW… just breath!

    Time for a good ol’ fashioned “Low Down”  …life is going so fast around here so I will “throw down” an update!

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    Custom Pet Portrait orders continue to come in and I really enjoy painting such wonderful pets!

    Last week I was in “Art Battle for Community #6” to benefit the Creston Neighborhood Association…

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    Photo by Tommy Allen

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    I was new to the scene, which can always get your nerves, but when I arrived I saw famed photographer Terry Johnston with his camera resting at his side and his paint brush at the ready.  It was so good to see Terry, then I saw what he was working on and I knew I needed to get to my own!  It was so good to see some supportive friends and also meet new ones too.

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    Terry Johnston

    I’ve been doing a lot of community events lately.  This coming Saturday, I will be painting Custom Pet Portraits on the spot at the Fulton Heights Neighborhood Association Garage Sale in Grand Rapids, MI.  The next event following that will be the Eco.Expo at City High School in Grand Rapids where I will be teaching kids about crafting green!  My nerves were on the rise as I thought about what I might teach two hundred kids over six 45 minute sessions so I got together with the best person for advice, one of my best friends Mindy Taggart.  Over some coffee at the local cafe “Sparrows,” Mindy put me at ease with her quick wit and a dash of her background in art education.  I also drew from a past experience when I was teaching some sweet young girls how to make greeting cards out of scraps of fabric and paper.

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    Diving deeper into my work, I recently met with some wonderful mentors who have been so helpful.  I met with Laura Caprera, owner of Stellafly and had some great conversation.  In a few short weeks I will be working at an event for the Humane Society of West Michigan.  They are having a “K-9 Cabaret” on May 17th to support the organization and also honor the Grand Rapids Police Department’s K-9 unit.  I will be painting custom pet portraits on the spot and I am so excited to be a part of it!  The following weekend I will be out at the Dog Bowl Funfest in Frankenmuth, Michigan.  I have never been to Frankenmuth, but I hear it is lots of fun and can’t wait!

    This past weekend we had the opportunity to check out the work of some wonderful artists around town.  These talented people are internationally known and just really great folks.  We went out to see Rebecca Green‘s show at St. Cecilia in Grand Rapids.  Such wonderful illustrations left me totally inspired.  It made me want to go back to the studio and work more.

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    We also had the opportunity to visit the Beerhorst family home and chat with Brenda and Rose for a bit.  We went to the localFulton Street Farmer’s Market for the grand opening of their new facility and found Rick Beerhorst playing with The Wealthy Orphans as the shoppers walked by.  IMG_3525

    My fiance Cam and I had our engagement photos done recently as well.  We are both artists so we had a sort of “artist throw down” in my parent’s front yard for a photo shoot.  Lovely and talentedAmy Carroll did our photos–and she is absolutely wonderful.  Amy is another person who has really been a great business associate and mentor.  She has so much good advice and such a positive energy, I love it!

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    I’ve been working on some things for Amy Carroll too.  Here is a small preview one of the paintings I am working on for her.  goat-preview

    I can feel myself growing inside so much as an artist and a person from all of the experiences I have had lately.  There are so many ideas in my head right now and they can’t be shared.  There is a time during my creative process where everything must be internalized for a while.  My thoughts have to go into outer space and simmer before they can come back down to earth.  All I can say is I am excited to see what the future has in store!

     

    Amy DeCaussin specializes in Illustration.  View her work here, amydecaussin.com.

    For illustration, image licensing, agent representation,

    and other creative projects contact Amy: amydecaussin@gmail.com.

    ©Amy DeCaussin All Rights Reserved.

  • Wedding Day

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    Just over four months from our wedding day!

    Plotting and scheming and planning away.

    So much advice, and its good to hear.
    A lot on my mind as the day becomes near.

    Every girl just wants the day to be right.
    I have a dress and some shoes that are white.

    We have the whole summer and it’s hard to wait.
    But at the same time, it is almost the date!
    Our honeymoon is booked, so thats set in stone.
    We can’t wait to spend a whole week alone!
    Balancing work while planning our day
    Has been a real challenge in such a big way.
    Planning the guest list has been really rough.
    We can’t invite everyone and that makes it tough.
    Everyone’s happiness is important, it’s true.
    But sometimes there has to be compromise too.
    It is hard to make sure that everyone’s pleased.
    Sometimes my concern just has to be ceased.
    I want my bridesmaids to be happy too.
    I worry a lot they have too much to do.
    The merge of two families is a really big deal.
    It is crazy to think this will be real.
    Above all the planning and wedding and fun,
    The health of our marriage remains number one.
    I’ve been through so much already with Cam.
    If you ask, “are you ready?” I’ll tell you I am.

    Amy DeCaussin specializes in Illustration.  View her work here, amydecaussin.com.

    For illustration, image licensing, agent representation,

    and other creative projects contact Amy: amydecaussin@gmail.com.

    ©Amy DeCaussin All Rights Reserved.

  • On Air – WGVU with Shelley Irwin & Danny Beckett Jr.

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    On the radio today!  Talking with Shelley Irwin on WGVU.  I’m sitting with Danny Beckett Jr.

  • “Ask The Artist” – WGVU TV – PBS with Shelley Irwin

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    I had such a good time on the WGVU Public Media TV with host Shelley Irwin and crew!