Monday, December 01, 2008

Easel setup in the snow, Dec. 1, 2008

"View of Antrim Creek, Dec. 1, 2008" -- plein air field study -- oil on birch 8x10" -- Margie Guyot

Wow -- it was cold and windy today! We woke up to about 12" of new snow that had fallen overnight. Of course I just HAD to drive down to my favorite spot to paint! Thank goodness for my Explorer. It handled the unplowed roads like a champ.

That first photo I took of my easel, sitting up on the little hill I painted on, looking down upon the tale end of Antrim Creek, where it empties into Lake Michigan. I'd brought along a big umbrella with the thought that it might help keep some of the blowing snow out of my palette and painting surface. Not only was it ineffective -- I had to hold it with one arm so it wouldn't blow away. It came in a nice carrying bag with a strap. Alas, the wind blew the bag down the hill, into the creek. Did I mention the creek was freezing over? Goodbye, umbrella bag!

In the spring you can stand by this creek and watch the steelhead and salmon run up to do their spawning. Last spring I was standing next to this creek, painting the lake and heard some splashing next to me. It was a big steelhead.

I'd been itching to try some winter storm lake painting, so when I finished this one
I slogged back through the snow with the usless umbrella and this painting to put them into the Explorer. Then it was slog all the way back through the snow and move down to the waterfront, where I struggled to paint a second scene. The ice pellets were blowing in my face. Waves were crashing. Spray was flying. I was standing in semi-frozen slush. The wind was so strong I had to hold onto the easel at all times. It was really a challenge. The wind ripped the painting out of my hand and it fell face-down into the snow. The snow is melting off, out in the studio, and tomorrow I'll probably post it. It was a fun day!

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