Saturday, June 23, 2007

"Corral" -- plein air field study -- oil on birch panel -- 9x12"

This was painted from a rooftop-level deck in Milford, Michigan. Yesterday was their annual garden walk and some of us were invited to paint at the various gardens. Given the chance to pick my garden, I chose this one because the prospectus said it was on 10 acres. I figured that with 10 acres, I'd have a better chance of finding something of interest to paint. That isn't always the case on garden walks! Sure, you can always find pretty little plants, but they don't necessarily make a good painting.

The first thing I noticed when I arrived was the deck. What a great place to sit and watch for meteorites! The woman told me that as soon as it was finished, she went out to sunbathe nude. There are no close neighbors, so she thought she was safe. Within 5 minutes a helicopter flew over! The view from this deck is spectacular. Seemed like you could see halfway to Alaska from that height. I liked the view of the horse corral below, with the pines and morning shadows. And I thought the far horizon (the blue line right below the sky in this painting) was beautiful.

Another surprise: there were yellow-billed cuckoos singing! I didn't know they were here in SE Michigan. I hadn't heard one singing since I'd left Iowa, back in 1977. They have a very unusual song, more like some kind of synthetic-electric drum. You just don't get these kind of neat little surprises if you only paint inside a studio.