Monday, December 17, 2007

"Sunlight in Cedars" -- plein air oil study -- 11x14" on masonite -- Margie Guyot

Finally I'm done moving! And I'll agree with the statement that "moving is hell"! The past 2 months have been a non-stop marathon of packing/discarding/cleaning/repainting rooms/washing/driving, etc. Yesterday morning Detroit was getting pounded with 8" of snow, but up here in NW Michigan it was sunny. I hiked through our 12" of snow to way back in the swamp, near the little trout stream, in search of my little Christmas tree. While working in the auto factory, I was always too worn-out to put up a tree, decorations or to bake cookies. But now that I'm retired, I can start to enjoy life again.

While hiking along, I noticed this one area full of old cedars. I made a mental note to come back here to do some painting.

I finally found it: the equivalent of The Griswold Family Christmas Tree. Remember National Lampoon's "Christmas Vacation"? My tree was similar: a giant! After dragging it back through the woods, cutting it down a bit & wrestling it upstairs, I decorated it with all my antique glass ornaments I'd squirreled away from garage sales.

The weather looked good in the afternoon, so I lashed my outdoor easel onto the old sled. That sled I'd used as a kid in Iowa, and it was old when I got it. I think maybe it'd been my brother's. So it's probably at least 70 years old now. I pulled my easel through the snow, following the trail I'd left with the tree.

This spot is so pretty, deep in the woods, with huge, old cedars on a small hillside. I loved how the sunlight fell across the snow. Some animal tracks there -- maybe those of a deer? As I painted, the only sounds I could hear were the wind in the trees and an occasional raven. I had on my heavyweight down coat from eBay, moonboots I'd saved from the 70's, my wolf fur trooper hat and wool mittens. The heavy forest had protected me from the bitter winds. This was a fun afternoon. I'll have to make more trips into the woods for paintings.

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