Friday, October 12, 2007

North Bar-Another view

What's in a name anyway?

A good portion of my Residency was spent sketching and painting in the Port Oneida Historic District. This little oil, I do mean little (5x7) is a portion of the farmhouse and one of the outbuildings. For about the first week I was there I thought the name of this particular farm was Burfield, but as it turns out its Burfiend.

Empire Beach

This particular sketch and subsequent painting were done on the same day on location at the public beach in Empire. One of the things I "rediscovered" during my AIR was the importance of keeping a sketchbook. My sketchbook became one of my greatest assets during my time away. I love working in a sketchbook form: its easily portable when hiking, it's more lively than a photograph, and the time investment is much less than dragging all your painting gear out. I hate to admit it but its been years since I've kept a sketchbook of any consequence. Am not really sure how I got out of the habit, but I suspect that it was more of a time issue than anything else. (Too much time devoted to other things.) Anyway, with this particular scene I used the sketch book to block out my composition and to solidify my knowledge of correct value.

And then it rained

During the 2 weeks of my Artist in Residency, I spent a significant amount of time at North Bar Lake, just a shade north of Empire. Its a beautiful area; dunes, shoreline, and a small lake that connects to Lake Michigan. Usually. Not this year. In the many years that I've been going up to North Bar this is the first year that I've ever seen the lake levels so low that that the Big Lake and the "little" lake are separate.

The day this particular peice was painted was one of the very few cloudy/rainy days of my Residency. I love a moody day, so I was excited by this development, especially after days on end of sunny, 85 degree, windy, and bitey-fly days. (There's nothing like standing on a beach in hot windy weather with jeans on, plus a towel around your legs to keep from being biten! And thats after you've hiked carrying all your gear to just the right spot.) Anyway, this day was ideal for painting. I schlepped my gear to the spot, got set up, started painting and it started to rain. Then it started to rain a little harder. The water was beading up pretty good on the canvas. I quickly packed it all in and marched back up to my car, only to have it quit raining. So I did what any painter worth their muster would do.....I marched back down to the lakeside and resumed painting. Quickly, as I could see yet another wall of rain heading across the lake straight for me. Between migrating my gear between the lake and the car, I managed to complete this painting in about 45 minutes.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Its been a long, long time

Since I've posted anything. Since January to be exact. Its not that nothing happened between now and January, its more like much has happened. Life got in the way of all my good intentions. Since January I have: embarked on a 108 Anuasara Yoga Immersion which is now leading to a 100 hour teacher training, taken a painting workshop with Richard Kooyman, spent a week on Beaver Island with Craig and the Beastie, spent a weekend in Port Onieda doing plein air painting, got approved to draw Dora the Explorer thru Nickelodeon, and the coup de gras.....a two week artist in residency in Glen Arbor through the Glen Arbor Arts Association. During this time somehow I still managed to maintain a fairly full illustration schedule. Whew, it makes me tired just reviewing it.

Posting here a couple of pcs. from my Residency, which I'll go into with a little more detail later this week. Promise.