Sunday, November 23, 2008

"November Storm - Lake Michigan" -- plein air field study -- oil on birch panel -- 8x10" -- Margie Guyot

Ever have a rough week and you just had to go out and paint or you'd go nuts? This was such a week. I had a lot of dental work on Monday (2 1/2 hours of drilling!) and my mouth has been sore ever since. And my older brother's health is failing fast. I'd been watching him slip away in the nursing home. But there's one place I know I can go to feel good again: the beach. It doesn't matter what the weather. There's something about seeing the amazing colors and hearing the waves crashing that heals me.

The wind was whipping along something fierce. OK! How windy was it? It was so windy, I had trouble painting the straight horizon line of the water. (In the far distance is the Leelanu Peninsula, by the way.) The wind kept pushing my hand around. Foaming waves were crashing against the rocks. Gloomy skies. had snow every day this week. Fortunatley, I had on expedition-weight longjohns over sweatpants and my heavy-duty down coat. Thank goodness for all that, or I'd have been frozen.

What struck me as most interesting were the patterns of sand, crusty ice and snow that were starting to build up along the shoreline. The painting doesn't show it, but there were thousands of little, blue, crawdad claws washed up onto the rocks.

You probably think this photo looks rather fuzzy. It isn't fuzz. It's a fine layer of sand! I had laid the painting down on the beach while I packed up. The wind was so strong, it was blowing fine sand over it. I should have known better. But after it dries, I might be able to wipe the sand off.

I really need to find my hunter's orange vest. It got lost in the move up here last fall. I paint in areas where hunting is allowed. Hopefully I don't look too much like a deer!