Saturday, September 22, 2007

"Passing Storm" -- field study -- oil on canvas panel -- 9x12" -- Margie Guyot

It'd rained fairly hard out here at Kensington Metropark this morning around 7 AM. The pavement was still wet at 8 when our group gathered in the parking lot. Heiner Hertling suggested painting up on this ridge in the park, overlooking the tree-filled valley. The fall colors haven't quite started yet here in southeast Michigan, but there were the most dramatic clouds racing along! I just had to paint them. Of course it's hard to paint clouds (especially fast-moving ones), but sometimes you just need to "stake 'em out and stay with 'em". They were fascinating. The colors were surprising. I saw edges of gold on the dark clouds. And off to the right the sky actually looked a sort of reddish tone. I have no idea what would have caused this, but I painted it in. Good thing I'd decided to work on the clouds first, since they completely blew away and the sky cleared within less than fifteen minutes.

Such gusty winds up on that ridge! I had to paint with one hand on my hat and one hand on my brush. One time I was out painting and it was so windy I had to tie my easel onto a tree to keep it from blowing over.

I'm in the process of buying a house (and art studio!) up near Charlevoix, so lately my time has been occupied with packing and sprucing up my house and yard. I'm pretty excited about finally having a real studio to paint in.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

"September Clouds" -- plein air field study -- oil -- 9x12"

Finally! I'd missed going out painting with my friends for the past several weeks due to other commitments. It was a glorious day today in SE Michigan. Sunny, breezy -- a little chilly, but it was a nice change from the sweltering heat. We'd be quietly standing and painting, but when the wind would get a bit persistent, I could hear curses being muttered by certain folks behind me. It got pretty bone-chilling at times.

Anyway, these fantastic cumulus clouds came rolling in about mid-morning -- and I just HAD to paint them. I loved the bright blues of the sky and the lake. If I decide to do a larger version of this one at some point in the future, I might consider adding a white swan or two. A pair floated by at one point. It would be interesting to come back here in a couple weeks to do another painting. We're having unusually cold weather all of a sudden and that will cause the trees to change color very soon. Can you imagine this scene with all the distant trees in shades of gold and orange?

My entries onto the blog have been rather sparse the past few weeks because I've been extraordinarily busy, driving up north, delivering paintings to various shows -- and -- I'm in the process of buying a house up along Lake Michigan, about 4 hours' drive north of Detroit. Life's a blur of packing, shoveling wood chips, repotting plants, lugging plants inside from the frost, sorting, discarding, varnishing & framing paintings, etc. I just came in from making 3 batches of pesto, using fresh basil from my garden. I'd have made more but ran out of fresh garlic. It happens every year: the night before our first frost, I'm going nuts, making tons of pesto and sticking it into freezer containers. This afternoon I spent about 4 hours lugging plants inside from the patio. So I'm one tired puppy at this point! So if you don't read new entries as often as you're used to from me, it's only because I'm swamped at the moment with all kinds of tasks.