Big Bay Park at Lake Michigan is one of my favorite spots to go any time of the year. There are two paths down to the beach area, one with at least a million lannon stone steps, that completely immerses you in nature, and the other is a gentle winding slope. The beach is fairly small but that's where I like to go to pick rocks and the occasional bit of sea glass. I never come home with empty pockets. The pier is a favorite place to sit on a calm summer day. During the summer months, there are quite a few visitors there because it is easy to manage, but during the winter is when you see the dramatic ice that has formed on the lake and the pier. Here are pictures I took this winter of the pier and the winding steps to the beach. The reference photo for the painting above was taken a week or two ago.
On Sunday, my friend took me to Plymouth Beach where I was so happy to see the grey sky and roaring sea. I took hundreds of photos, catching every wave and frequent changes in the sky. I even chased a few sea gulls off the cliff walk. I have been influenced by artist, Roos (Rose) Shuring, who paints en plein air in the Netherlands, and am motivated to learn to paint the sky and sea in a new way. Although she has inspired me, I am not willing to paint outside in the winter weather because I hate the cold. I have been visiting the Lake (Michigan) frequently since I have been home, and realize there is not much difference between our Great Lake and the ocean. I have always loved being near water, (hmmm, wonder if that's the Aquarius speaking) but learning through observation is very exciting to me.
I was a little hesitant about painting the spider mums. This is the third attempt. In one other painting, they ended up as hydrangeas (ah, the freedom we have), the other was gessod over. I'm fairly happy with the way these turned out
My sweet husband came home with two bundles of mixed flowers this week. I decided to paint from my own little arrangements rather than the fussy arrangements from the floral department of the grocery store. I enjoy that so much more. This is a simple arrangement of white mums and pink alstroemera.