I am constantly reminded to squint when I am painting so as not to paint harsh lines and fussy details, in fact, I recall with a smile that in one class, our instructor asked us to smear Vaseline on our glasses to blur the image we would see. It was a fun exercise. This photo (reference) was very blurry because we were clipping along in Door County. I just can't resist a photo op when I am in the passenger seat.
We spent the weekend in Door County, where the tourist season is wrapping up. Many of the stores, restaurants and galleries will be closed by November 1. The Fall colors were beautiful, even on the grey Friday, and the cold, rainy blustery Saturday. Sunday was beautiful with blue skies, a perfect day for a walk on the Sunset Trail at the Peninsula State Park. I took many photos from the car while in motion, otherwise we would have worn out the brakes.
This was a lovely scene in the harbor at the sailing center, Milwaukee, Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, where I go to study the relationships among water/sky/boats. I am still frustrated when painting these water scenes, specifically boat scenes. I am concluding that painting in a small format presents more difficulty for me, as I have had success with larger formats. Any way you look at it, I may be moving on to land soon!
"644 Late Afternoon at the Harbor" acrylic - 6x6 in
Door County has always been known for it's cherry production. They have become even more popular since research has shown the antioxidant health benefits of cherries. You can buy cherry jam, wine, honey, juice, salsa, pies, sausage, dried cherries, frozen cherries, and the list goes on. The cherry trees are in full bloom now, which means that the cherries will be ready to pick in approximately 60 days.
This is another scene from the Sunset Trail in Peninsula State Park, Door County. Painting these last few path scenes has helped me with a large painting I have on my easel of a path leading to the sea in Hilton Head. There is a lot more to it than the path, but I feel I made good progress there today. I'll keep plugging away.
Despite the humidity, the rain, and the intense allergy conditions, I am mentally back in Door County on the Sunset Trail. Here is another scene, this time painted with acrylics, and fyi, I'm not asking my husband's opinion today after yesterday's response. hmpff. I wonder which scene and medium you prefer.
Door County, Wisconsin is a beautiful place, a peninsula with Green Bay to the west side and Lake Michigan to the east and not much distance in between. Peninsula State Park is a popular place for camping, biking, hiking and cross country skiing. On Saturday, the day after my party, I walked along the beautiful Sunset Trail, so grateful for the beautiful scenery, the perfect lighting, and all the blessings of the weekend, reflecting on good friends, beautiful art, and admiration for Mother Nature.
On Sunday, yesterday, I watched an artist demonstrate his painting technique at the gallery. He uses inexpensive hardware store brushes and paints with liberation. Maybe it was my mental return to this scene, or a reckless abandon, or possibly a new-found confidence, but I loved painting this so loose and without intimidation by the oil paints. My bubble was burst when my husband asked, "What is it?"
I thought I'd take a little break from the grey winter skies and seas and paint from a reference photo taken last Fall in Door County, Wisconsin where the sunsets are spectacular. There is a particular restaurant, Buster something or other, where tables are set outside for all to witness the breathtaking views.
On the return from our Door County plein air painting trip, we passed through Algoma, Wisconsin, where we saw such a beautiful turquoise barn with yellow trim and a salmon colored roof next to a breathtaking field of sunflowers. I doubled back to photograph it and am nearly finished with a larger painting of the image. I need to set it aside for a little while to critique it with "fresh eyes." I am so drawn to this farm that I have been tempted many times to make the nearly 2 1/2 hour drive to see it again.