Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Fisherman's Island - November 28, 2009" -- plein air field study -- oil on canvas panel -- 8x10" -- Margie Guyot

It was cold. It was dark. It was windy. Sometimes it drizzled; sometimes it snowed. But my friend Janet had driven up from Dearborn and she wanted to go painting! Thank goodness for heavyweight goosedown coats!

She'd seen 2 paintings I'd done from this same spot earlier this fall. "Let's go there!" So we drove up to Charlevoix and headed off into Fisherman's Island State Park. It really was a dreary day, but it was far more enjoyable than staggering around in a shopping Mall.

I'd had a bout of insomnia the night before. Had gotten up and fixed a cup of Sleepytime Tea and pulled out Richard Schmid's book "Alla Prima: Everything I know about Painting". In it, he wrote that it's important to always paint the sky first, before the trees. I'd always wondered about that. This time I did paint the sky first and the trees second. Liked the way it turned out.

And it's always challenging to figure out how to handle the light-colored rocks in the foreground. It's not sand there but broken rocks.

I always love the look of Lake Michigan. The colors fascinate me. I love how the distant horizon looks so dark. Closer in, the water often takes a sage green or sometimes turquoise tone.

We were both pretty frozen by the time we finished our paintings. My friend apologized for dragging me out there. Ha! I told her I was glad she suggested it. Otherwise I'd have spent the time cleaning out the henhouse.

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