Saturday, February 24, 2007

"Frozen Lake -- 2-24-07 -- oil on canvas board -- plein air study 11x14" -- Margie Guyot
Beastly cold again this morning, with a wind howling nonstop. So glad I had my heavyweight down coat and fur trapper hat! After a few teasing days of sunshine and temperatures in the 30's, we were all ready to pull out our thongs (ha ha). But it was back into the teens this morning, with more of the dreary, dark skies, so typical of Michigan winters. My buddies and I parked at the Kensington Metropark Farm Center and lugged our gear down the hill to the lake. I've grown quite fond of my "bag lady wire grocery cart", although I've found it to be troublesome when trying to lug it through crusty snow. Like dragging a dead horse.

I painted a small scene of the icy road, looking up at the farm buildings for my first painting of the morning. Then I turned around and did this view of the frozen lake. I love to look at the swirls and patterns of the ice with patches of snow. You wouldn't enjoy skating on a lake surface when it's like this. For one thing, you might fall through the ice this late in the season. It's pretty rough, having melted and re-frozen a number of times. I used an old, previously painted-on canvas board for this painting. Normally I'd sand it flat to get any impasto brushwork smoothed out, but I hadn't done it with this one. The textures helped convey the ice's roughness.

Further over, about 1/4 mile, there were a few open patches of lake. White swans were sitting in that water -- you'd think they'd be cold! Occasionally a squawking sandhill crane would fly over, complaining loudly about the return of the bitterly cold weather.