Saturday, November 29, 2008

"Beach -- 11/29/08" -- plein air field study -- oil on 8x10" birch panel -- Margie Guyot

"Beach -- 11/27/08" -- plein air field study -- oil on birch panel 8x10" -- Margie Guyot

Most people probably went to the Malls this weekend. Not us painters! We grabbed our gear and hit the beach. It's truly addictive. I grew up in Iowa, with no views anything close to this, so I'm totally ga-ga over Lake Michigan. I could come down here every day and paint. The colors of the water astound me. Painting the waves is tricky. Kind of like trying to paint a barnyard of chickens running around nonstop. The light's changing constantly, so it keeps me guessing all the time.

Painting on the beach in NW Michigan at the end of November is cold business. The temperature may be slightly above freezing, but the wind howls relentlessly off the lake. Layering helps immensely. Thank goodness for Gore-tex! Being all bundled up makes small movements take longer. Just putting away a piece of paper towel into a trash bag and tearing off a new one takes about three times as long as it does in warm weather.

I always love to walk along the rocky shore, looking for Petoskey stones. I find one about half the time. Petoskey stones are petrified coral that was formed along the coast of Chile, they tell me. Over time the plates shifted and the coastline of NW Michigan is supposedly the only place in the world you can find them.

Today I was lucky enough to have 2 old-time painting buddies along with me. They agree: this place is wonderful. It's at the Antrim Creek Natural Area. We're planning on having a hot dog roast with more of the gang next summer. A "paint-athon".

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