Monday, January 18, 2010

"Frozen Lake -- plein air field study -- oil on canvas -- 12x24" -- Margie Guyot

We finally had a balmy spell -- up above freezing -- and partly sunny, so I decided to take my gear down to the edge of Lake Michigan and do a painting. I love doing frozen lake paintings, even though I get pretty chilled doing so. I had on longjohns, smart wool socks, polartec pants & a heavyweight down coat. And gloves with the fingertips cutout, plus my trusty zebra hat. And special snowboots rated down to zero degrees. That wind coming off the ice can get pretty cold!

It was so cold my Soltek easel had one leg that was frozen shut. I couldn't expand it full length. Luckily, I was able to open it halfway, at least. That umbrella was balky to open, too. It's the best I've found, though. Bestbrella. I probably couldn't have painted this view without it, as the sun was shining through the back of the canvas.

This was painted at Banks Township Park, north of Eastport, on Old Dixie Highway. It's one of the few parks you can drive into in the winter. The county doesn't plow the parks. And I learned the hard way that cars can't drive through knee-deep snow!

This was pretty challenging to paint, but I loved the view. In the foreground is a small open pool. There are lots of small streams that drain into Lake Michigan and there was an open pool that looked interesting. The golden ochre color is from the color of the sand.

Notice the diagonal stripes? That's the way the waves had been running when they finally froze.

Out near the edge of the ice are a few pileups. Way across the bay is a view of part of the Leelanau Peninsula.

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