Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Ice Breakup -- Lake Michigan" -- plein air field study -- oil on panel -- 11x14" -- Margie Guyot

Never thought I'd ever say this, but I'm kind of sad to think of winter ending. I've had such an interesting time this winter, painting snow-covered cars and lake scenes!

This morning I had planned on painting daffodils in my studio all day. But first I decided to drive down to Barnes Park Campground, about 3 miles south, for a hike along the lake. I try to get some daily exercise, outside whenever possible.

When I got down to the lake, it was just amazing to see the huge chunks of ice and the sky and just everything! I turned around, drove home, gathered my painting gear and drove back. Needless to say, I had on my wind-proof pants, polartech pants, thermal socks, Arctic snowboots, heavyweight goosedown coat and gloves. Always over-dress! You can always remove stuff, but if you find you need it -- and don't have it -- it's pretty miserable.

It was a nice hike from the parking lot, through the crunchy snow. I was glad it has semi-thawed, then refrozen, or it would have been hard walking in it. There is a rather steep hill going down to the lake at this point. Glad it wasn't icy!

About 50 feet from the shoreline was a long, high mound of ice and snow. To get to it, I had to hike over snow-covered ice. This time of year, a person is never totally sure of how thick the ice is. It could have broken through. But I figured the water was probably only about 3 feet deep right there, so I decided to risk it.

The mounds were the place to be! Standing up higher, a better view of the ice chunks could be seen. I decided long ago only to paint things that I found amazing. Never paint anything that's boring. So this scene was pretty amazing to me. I loved the variations in colors: the pale mauves, the hints of olive, lavender, etc. The sky in the distance was so interesting as well, with the low, dark cloud bank, bordered with higher, brighter clouds.

Notice the distant "bluish" treelines? The ones on the right side are the Old Mission Peninsula, I believe.

It was very windy, but not quite as horribly windy as the other day when I was painting on Peebles Road. It was a relief not to have my gooey, wet palette blow up onto my good goosedown coat.

So I finished the painting, carefully packed up, lugged everything up the steep hill, drove home -- and then realized my camera was missing! Drove back to the park, slogged through the snow and down the hill again. Whew! There it was: my beloved camera, lying in the middle of the path!

I hope we have another big snowfall again. Just one more!

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