Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Waves of sand

At Point Betsie, on the shore of Lake Michigan, is a large area of protected dunes managed by the Nature Conservancy. I've painted here many times and love to take my camera and explore the shifting sands. Just like the waves on the lake, the sand is blown up into dunes from the prevailing westerly winds. This particular “bowl” was probably 25 to 30 feet deep. The grass, with its reddish roots, holds the hills in-place—for a while, anyway.

Blue dune, oil, 24" x 36"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I've been spending a lot of time in the studio lately doing larger versions of summer plein air and working from studies and photos. I have several shows on the agenda for next year, starting in January, that I am preparing for.

During my artist residency last June, I did a painting in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore of the Burfiend farm. Here is a larger version with a slightly different point of view. When I first started getting back into painting six years ago, I really didn’t want to be bothered with studies. I just wanted to get right into doing a finished piece of art. Now I’m learning what it can mean to bringing ease of production and higher satisfaction with the end result. With this painting and the one in my last post, there was a lot less trial and error or struggle over where to take it. I’m also enjoying working larger without the time constraints of plein air. Next up, a 24" x 36" dune.

Summer afternoon, Burfiend Farm, oil, 18" x 24"

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A favorite spot

One of my favorite locations for plein air painting is the beach at Portage Point. It’s a beach park along Lake Michigan on the north side of the Portage Lake channel. Dunes, grass and beautiful coastal views. I’ve painted there more than a dozen times so doing a studio painting came easy with all the studying I’ve done. I particularly love being there in the morning on a sunny day for the shadows.

Morning shore, oil 16" x 20"