Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Late Day -- Two Ponds" -- plein air field study -- 6x8" oil on canvas panel -- Margie Guyot

Yesterday had been a flurry of planting poppies and flowering tobacco in my garden, then hours of digging through paintings for Tvedten Fine Art, the gallery up in Harbor Springs. They called me about noon, saying they'd like more work on Monday. All needed to be varnished, signed and framed. Yikes! That took hours and hours.

About 8 PM I thought I'd drive down to Antrim Creek Natural Area and paint a lake scene. But when I got down there, nothing looked interesting. At least, interesting enough to paint. Too serene, too blah. I got everything back into the car and drove along Old Dixie Highway, looking for long shadows and patches of sun.

This spot is right at the NE corner of Old Dixie Highway and Rex Beach Road. I pulled my car up and parked right in front of a No Tresspassing sign. The signs always say you need permission to be on the land, but they never tell you who to ask. So I picked my way through the brush and set up my Soltek in front of this lovely pair of ponds. Fortunately, I'd thought ahead and had sprayed myself liberally with mosquito lotion, as they were ravenous.

I really love finding spots like this, with contrasting light and interesting shapes. Most of the scene was in shadow. The sky was changing to a pale viridian (it was nearing sunset) and the golden streaks of sunlight were raking across distant fields. It's so much more fun to paint either early in the morning or late in the day because of the dramatic lighting.

I decided to use a small panel (6x8") for this because I'd realized that I had a plethora of small frames.

Painted this entire piece using my favorite #8 flat brush.

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