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Kalamazoo artist painting for Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary

ALPENA, Mich. — Richard Jordan is an outdoor painter visiting Alpena for two weeks. His work is being funded by the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary. They sponsor an artist every year whose artwork will be housed in the proposed wildlife sanctuary interpretive center.

Mark Beins, coordinator for the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary Artist in Residence Program, believes Jordan will offer a great piece the sanctuary. “It’s usually the artist that chooses the piece to be donated to the Sanctuary, but actually he’s going to let us do the choosing which is fairly generous.”

Jordan explained that Island Park is a gem in Alpena. “I must say the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary, this island in particular, is an artist’s dream.” He is trying to paint at least one picture per day while he’s here, and it takes him about three hours for each painting.

He has to be quick, otherwise the lighting from the sun could affect his artwork as it moves across the sky. “You’ve got to decide at one point where you’re going to fix shadows and fix light and stay there. Even though the light is changing, you can’t chase it, you’ve got to decide and keep your light at one point.”

Jordan has created hundreds of paintings as director of the Plein Air Artists of Western Michigan, a group that paints outdoor landscapes year round. He will show his previous paintings and how he creates his art, Thursday at 2 p.m. at Art in the Loft.