Monday, November 03, 2008

"Late Fall, Late Afternoon, Creekside" -- plein air field study -- oil on canvas panel -- 11x14" -- Margie Guyot

This is part of the Antrim Creek Nature Area. I'd seen this creek months ago but never got over to paint it until this afternoon. It was one of the last nice days we'll have this year, with temperatures in the 60's. Soon there will be blowing snow.

I dragged my painting gear down the leaf-covered trail, scootching up big mounds of leaves along the way. I had it in a little cart with wheels, which is great if you're on a sidewalk. Kind of an adventure in thick carpeting of leaves, trudging up and down hills. But it saves the shoulders.

This view was painted at the edge of a small cliff, looking down on the winding creek. It empties into Lake Michigan, about a block west from this spot. It's spawning grounds for some of the large salmon who swim up this stream to lay their eggs. A great blue heron flew off, another sign of the stream's health.

I had to work very fast, as it was late afternoon and I was losing the light in a hurry. I liked the reflections in the water and the soft, faded-golden light. Maybe I'll return to this spot tomorrow and try another painting. If I have more time to work I might get something with a bit more detail. And working earlier in the day will give a whole new lighting and color scheme.

Had to wear my orange T-shirt while painting this. Hunting is allowed in the park and I didn't want to be mistaken for a squirrel.

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