Sunday, December 03, 2006

"Wildwing Lake - Early December" oil on canvas -- 12 x 16" plein air study This weekend the Detroit area narrowly missed a major snowfall. I met my plein air friends out at our old standby, Kensington Metropark early yesterday morning. It was a bone-chilling experience, standing out there in 27 degrees, in a stiff wind. About 5 of us showed up; I'm sure the rest of our group was lying in their warm, soft beds, feeling guilty they hadn't joined us. We've learned to layer thermal longjohns, polartec and goosedown to the point of sometimes having to remove clothing. While we painted, 3 white swans kept us entertained, chasing each other back and forth over the water. We were standing along the path that runs around the lake, a distance of several miles. As you can see in the painting, not all the leaves have fallen. Our red oak trees don't shed leaves until springtime. The birds are quite tame here. Chickadees, titmice and nuthatches ate sunflowers from our outstretched hands (and off our easels). It was a very dark, gloomy morning, causing us to consider traveling to the Belle Isle Conservatory to paint bright red poinsettias sometime in the near future.