Puzzle: Autumn Lake by Darrell Bush

Darrell Bush - Autumn Lake, med
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 50.8 cm x 68.58 cm
Producer: Karmin International, The art of Darrell Bush series, 2004

Puzzle: Beatutiful puzzle in vibrant colours with many distinct regions – a pleasure to do. Good starting points are the sunlit sky and water, the birds, the horizon line and the water: since there are many horizontally-separated water colour regions, that part is a breeze. The house, the bright lantern with surrounding grass, the birch tree, the boat and the dock allow the rest of the pieces fall into place.

Artist: Darrell Bush – Awared-winning artist Darrell Bush brilliantly captures the unspoiled, simple beauty of the outdoors. From a North Woods campsite to a polished wooden runabout resting on a quiet lake, Bush’s acrylics suggest that these peaceful settings are only a memory away. He familiarizes the viewer with outdoor and wildlife subjects while often adding a touch of nostalgia.

In 1984,after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in commercial art from Northern Illinois University, Bush moved to Minnesota and worked as a commercial illustrator for five years. “It was during this time I began pursuing a second career, my true love, wildlife art,” he said. In 1987, he won his first major award, the Idaho Uploand Game Stamp Competition. In 1990, he became a full-time artist and one year later signed with Hadley House.

Since then, Bush’s success has escalated dramatically. He received international recognition when he was chosen for the September, 1996 “Wonders of Nature” exhibit in Hong Kong. U.S.ART named him among America’s Most Popular Artists in 1995, 1996 and 1998.

He and his family reside in Moline. [Puzzle box, mistakes omitted]

By the same artist the other puzzles available in the series are: “Crescent Moon Bay”, “The End of a Perfect Day“, “Twilight Calm”.

Puzzle: Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada, med
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12 cm x 66.52 cm
: Big Ben, MB Puzzles, Hasbro, 2007, 04962-N03

Puzzle: Beautiful serene puzzle to make.  Despite its size, the assembly flows smoothly due to distinct separate regions of colour separated by clear borders. The lavender of the sky, the yellow, purple, and black mountains, their clearly separated reflections and the horizontal divide of the water edge are a breeze to put together. The blue of the water, the rock regions, the green grass patches, and the guide made by the log, let the rest of the pieces fall into place.

Notes: Banff National Park is located in the province of Alberta in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. In the fall of 1883, three Canadian Pacific Railway construction workers stumbled across a cave containing hot springs on the eastern slopes of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. From that humble beginning was born Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park and the world’s third. Spanning 6,641 square kilometres of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers, Banff National Park is one of the world’s premier destination spots. [Banff National Park site]

Puzzle: Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake, med

Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 46.5cm x 36cm

Puzzle: Colourful puzzle, relaxing to assemble at the end of a tiring busy day. The sky, the water, and the house are easiest to start with, followed by the leafy bank and the red trees. The tree trunks can help assemble the rest of the trees, and the reflections are distinct enough from the trees themselves to be filled in easily as well.

Notes: I do not have a record of the producer of this puzzle as I do not have the box anymore. A clarification is welcome – if you have any clue as to the details regarding this puzzle, I would much appreciate that information.

Puzzle: River Walk, New Orleans

River Walk, New Orleans, med

Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.5 cm x 35.5 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group

Puzzle: Simple puzzle to do. Starting from the uniform areas of colour: the water, the sky, the green of trees, the circular structure and the light green roof of the low building can be followed by the beige roof with blue regions, and the larger skyscrapers. From that point on, there are enough vertical guides for the rest of the pieces to follow.
Notes: New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The city is named after Orléans, a city located on the Loire River in Centre, France, and is well known for its distinct French Creole architecture, as well as its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage. New Orleans is also famous for its cuisine, music (particularly as the birthplace of jazz), and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Bellagio by Julian Askins

Julian Askins - Bellagio, med

Size:  750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox
Julian Askins

Notes: Beautiful zen-inducing puzzle with its bright colours and serene scenery. The easiest places to start are the solid colour areas of the sky, the patio with the colonnade, the mountain/sky border, and the blue of the water. The houses can also be assembled easily, guided by the colour contrast and vertical separators. The red flowers and the bright rounded tree with its base can follow, and the rest of the pieces fall into place after.

Puzzle: Moon Magic by Myles Pinkney

Myles Pinkney - Moon Magic, med

Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 35.56 cm x 48.26 cm
Artist: Myles Pinkney
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, Glow series, 2007, #81200-5

Puzzle: Simple and pleasant puzzle to do. The Sure-Lox pieces fit together well, and there are enough distinct regions to split the puzzle into areas that are trivial to complete. A logical place to start is the woman’s face, hair, hands, dress, and the belt. The purple, grey, and dark areas can also be easily completed. The remaining regions of the dress and the blue of the waves can follow.

Puzzle: Waterfall in a garden

Waterfall in a garden, med

Size:  750 pieces
Dimensions: 43.81 cm x 58.42 cm
Producer: MB Puzzle, Oxford series, 1999, C4848-18

Puzzle: Despite the large regions of green leaves and small flowers, this puzzle is relatively easy to do due to the waterfall separating the two parts at the top, and to the small number of pieces. Waterfall, the rock behind it, the basin, and the yellow spot are a good start. From that point on, darker regions, flowers, and trees can follow. Not a trivial puzzle, but quite enjoyable. Good lighting is a plus.

Notes: No discernable name on the puzzle box.

Puzzle: The Oceanwaves Quiltscape by Rebecca Barker

Rebecca Barker - The Oceanwaves Quiltscape, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 69 cm x 51 cm
Producer: Ceaco, 2003,3307-2

Puzzle: A bright vibrant puzzle, easily done due to multiple horizontal dividers with colour variations, and the geometrical patterns. The horizon line, the boats, the big turquoise wave, and the line separating the surf and sand create several distinct regions. From there on, filling out the rest is trivial.

Notes: “Rebecca has a deep appreciation of country living and antique quilts which clearly inspires the subjects she paints today. Her paintings feature quilts accompanied by foreground or background scenes which formally illustrate the traditional names of the quilt patterns.

Rebecca’s current series is titled “Quiltscapes”. Rebecca paints her Quiltscapes in acrylic on board (masonite). The patterns come from quilt history books and she regularly attends quilt shows. Her style is realistic with clean, clear colors and a sensitivity to composition and texture.

The Oceanwaves Quiltscape: This quilt pattern has the feel of the sea right in its folds. It is one of the first authentic all pieced quilt patterns which is comprised of many small triangles. It was created around the mid or late 1800’s. Origin unknown.

“My work is meant to honor the beauty of old time quilts and their patterns.” [Rebecca Barker]” [Puzzle box]

Puzzle: Japanese Garden, Portland, OR, USA

Japanese Garden, Portland, OR, USA, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12 cm x 69.85 cm
Producer: Guild Puzzle, 1995, 4710-12

Puzzle: Not a trivial puzzle, but a very enjoyable one. Daylight is a bonus. The good starting points are red bushes with their reflections, green patch of grass, shrubs with yellow and orange flowers, the rocks, the path, and the stairs. Pink flower tree, dark red bush under it, and light green willow are good focal points as well. From there, dark green tree regions, black and white patches of the sky, and the water complete the puzzle.

Notes: Willows, sallows, and osiers form the genus Salix, around 400 species of deciduous trees and shrubs, found primarily on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Most species are known as willow, but some narrow-leaved shrub species are called osier, and some broader-leaved species are referred to as sallow. Some willows (particularly arctic and alpine species) are low-growing or creeping shrubs; for example, the dwarf willow (Salix herbacea) rarely exceeds 6 cm in height, though it spreads widely across the ground. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Overlook Cafe II by Sung Kim

Sung Kim - Overlook Cafe II, med

Size:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 67.3 cm x 45.4 cm
Artist: Sung Kim – Born in 1940 in Seoul, South Korea, Sung began to exhibit his artistic talents early in childhood. Beginning in grade school, Sung entered and won various art contests by displaying his creativity and artistic imagination. He decided to pursue his passion for art and graduated with honors from Seorabol Art College in Seoul. Later he opened his own studio and worked as an illustrator for various magazines and children’s books. Sung’s artistic abilities were acknowledged when he was awarded the Grand Prize in an art competition by the Minister of Culture in South Korea and the Gold Medal prize in the art competition given by the Mayor of Seoul. He traveled throughout Europe before immigrating to the United States in 1980. For the last 20 years, Sung has worked with various fine art galleries and has produced over 400 original landscape paintings. [Tutt Art site]
Painting: original
Producer: Wrebbit, Perfalock foam puzzle series, 2005, 20068

Puzzle: A very enjoyable puzzle. I have not done foam puzzles for a while now, and this one was a reminder of a different squishy feel I liked about the foam pieces. They fit together quite well. The logical parts with which to start are the turquoise shutters and striped canopy, the white tablecloths and the chairs and railing next to them, the flower arrangements, the cafe sign and the light above it, the balcony, and the palm tree. The large tree with dark branches and houses in the distance with boats and water reflections, the patio, the pavement, and the black doorways can come next. Once all that remains are the mountains and the sky, tracing the border between them is easiest, and the rest of the pieces fall into place.

Puzzle: Portofino Coast by James Coleman

James Coleman - Portofino Coast, med

Size:  750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.7 cm x 39.4 cm
Producer: Sure-Lox
James Coleman
Painting: http://www.progressiveart.com/coleman/coleman_portofino_coast.shtml

Notes: Portofino is an Italian fishing village, and upmarket resort famous for its picturesque harbour and historical association with celebrity visitors. It is a comune located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. The town is crowded round its small harbour, is closely associated with Paraggi Beach, which is a few minutes up the coast. According to Pliny the Elder, Portofino was founded by the Romans and named Portus Delphini, or Port of the Dolphin, because of the large number of dolphins that inhabited the Tigullian Gulf. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Steam Engine

Steam Engine, med

Size: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.69 cm x 39.37 cm
Producer:  The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, All Aboard series, 2012, #40562-2
Artist: Ron Niebrugge

Puzzle: I found it easiest to start from the water and the clear line between the water and the rocks to define a horizontal guide. From that point on, the railroad, the black locomotive, the carriages, and various green and rocky regions are equally logical to do, since not many of them provide an easily-delineated coloured region. This puzzle benefits from good lighting.

Steam Engine: A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.

Using boiling water to produce mechanical motion goes back about 2,000 years, but early devices were not practical. Since the late 1700s steam engines have become a major source of mechanical power. The first applications were removing water from mines. In 1781 Watt patented a steam engines that produced continuous rotative motion. Steam engines could also be applied to vehicles such as traction engines and the railway locomotives which are commonly just called steam engines ouside America. The stationary steam engine was an important component of the Industrial Revolution, overcoming the limitations imposed by shortage of sites suitable for water mill and allowing factories to locate where water power was unavailable. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Autumn at seaside

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 54.5cm x 70cm
Producer: Golden, Guild Puzzle, #4710-57
Puzzle: One of the logical ways of approaching this puzzle, is to put together the long white birch tree trunks first, giving a continuous vertical anchoring. The sea and the lighthouse are trivial to put together, and provide a line of horizon, so that the sky and top of the rocks fall into place. Orange and red leaves are the next logical choice, leaving the more uniform pieces of rocks and brush to the end. No name is provided on a box – it would have been nice to know where this photo was taken.

Birch tree: The bark of all birches is characteristically marked with long, horizontal lenticels, and often separates into thin, papery plates, especially upon the paper birch. It is resistant to decay, due to the resinous oil it contains. Its decided color gives the common names gray, white, black, silver and yellow birch to different species.

Birch trees are typically rather short-lived pioneer species widespread in the Northern Hemisphere particularly in northern temperate and boreal climates. [Wiki]

Puzzle: European Montage by Jim Zuckerman

European Montage, med
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
: Sure-Lox
Artist: Jim Zuckerman
Notes: Photomontage is the process and result of making a composite photograph by cutting and joining a number of other photographs. The composite picture was sometimes photographed so that the final image is converted back into a seamless photographic print. A similar method, although one that does not use film, is realized today through image-editing software. [Wiki]



Puzzle: Nanette’s Cottage by Thomas Kinkade

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 69cm x 51cm
Producer:  Ceaco, 2009, #3310-90
Artist: Thomas Kinkade

Notes:  Thomas has placed a total of 25 N’s within this painting in special commemoration and tribute to his wife Nanette, for her partnership in his 25 years as a published artist. The inspiration for this painting came about  from a cottage just like this, in which Thomas and Nanette lived in, in England when they were first married. Their wedding date is May 2, 1982. [Puzzle box]