Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Orange Truck" -- plein air field study -- oil on birch panel -- 9x12" Margie Guyot

After painting down on the beach (see below) I trekked through the snow over to this abandoned orange truck. It was parked by the ranger's station at Barnes Park Campground, in back of their little log cabin headquarters. I saw this the other day and planned on returning to paint it before our snow melted. I really loved the color of this truck! After painting so many vehicles in the snow, I knew how the shadows would look, so I invented some for this painting. In reality, it was an overcast day, with no strong sunlight and defined shadows.

"Ice Breakup - Lake Michigan - 2/26/09" -- plein air field study -- oil on birch panel -- 9x12" -- Margie Guyot

I decided to take my morning walk down here at the beach, at Barnes Park. It's a beautiful park and campground on Lake Michigan. During the winter it's virtually abandoned. We were having a heat wave -- all the way into the upper 20's today. Still -- I put on my layers of long underwear and heavy down coat. And I was so glad to have it. Surprisingly, it wasn't windy. Usually it's like trying to paint in the middle of a tornado down here, but today it was calm.

I walked along with my viewfinder, checking to see what looked like a good design. I really loved the clumps of ice, piled up a little ways out from the shore. A few weeks ago I crossed a stretch of flat ice to climb up onto some of these "chunks", but I didn't trust the ice today.

As I painted, the ice was moaning and making crunching sounds. Really neat! Dark clouds were moving in the distance. As far as you could see at this point, Lake Michigan was covered in snow-covered chunks of ice.

I liked the little pattern of footprints on the ice. I wanted to be sure to include it in this painting. And the snow was not a dazzling white today, due to the cloud cover.

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