Spent a wonderful day at the beach in South Haven, Michigan, playing with my granddaughter, Maeve. I got a picture of her just as her sunhat blew off in the wind and had to paint the memory.
She spent about an hour playing with rocks and pouring out water onto the sand. Maeve is just over two years old and her boundless curiosity about the way the water disappears when you dump it onto sand was irresistible. All that squatting I did to bring her more water from the lake! My legs are pretty sore today!
There’s something really fun about painting a memento of a certain place and the company kept. Good times!
I woke up this morning to a fresh coating of snow. Happy April Fool’s Day!
I found myself wishing for warmer days and so I searched my Google photos for a summertime reference to paint today and happily discovered one that made me feel better about all the white stuff on the lawn.
When I’m walking the dogs I frequently stop to take a picture of the sun lighting up the landscape behind the green trees. Something about all the beautiful warm light peeking out between the leaves makes me feel optimistic about the future. Call me crazy.
You know how sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night and you just can’t get back to sleep? And then you just don’t feel like yourself all the rest of the day?
Yeah, these things happen. Fortunately, there are naps. I love naps.
This is a painting that I did because I had an unfinished version of it from who knows how long ago. I spent a bit of time searching for the photo reference in Google photos, finally typed in birch in the search bar and bingo! there it was. Google photos doesn’t know from poplars.
I have to say, I wasn’t crazy about this when I left the studio to go have lunch, but by the time I got back it had grown on me. So I thought I’d share it quick before I changed my mind. I still want to fiddle with it a little bit more, but later, after I’ve had some more sleep.
Thought I’d share some progress on the the latest skeleton Old (Dead) Masters painting. It’s coming along. I’m doing some refining right now, and that’s going to take a bit. I like doing these because they’re like a real intense workshop on the style of the artist whose work I’m copying. That’s definitely the case with this one.
Another angle on the dunes in the Ludington State Park. I was out walking with my husband and one of my daughters and our two dogs when I took the reference photo (below) for this painting.
We all kept telling each other how lucky we were to be able to enjoy such a beautiful area whenever we feel like it. It’s why Steve and I moved back here after living in another state for ten years. Once you’ve got the bug for Ludington, nothing else really compares.
Even in the early spring, when there’s no green anywhere and under cloudy skies, it’s still wonderful to sit and just be yourself outdoors. There are lots of places available for doing not very much for as long as you want. I love it here.
This is a pastel painting of the view looking toward the top of a dune in Ludington State Park in Ludington, Michigan.
Finally, the weather is good enough to go traipsing around on the dunes! The dogs and I are so glad to be able to broaden our walking habits a bit. It seems like a lifetime since we’ve been anywhere but our own backyard. Woohoo!
This is the reference I used for this piece. It was around 8:30 in the morning, the sun was peeking in and out of a cloud bank to the east and the wind was just whipping us around like crazy. Glorious.
Finally, it’s safe to go out walking in the state park again! No more snow and ice! Yesterday was actually the first day I took the dogs out for a romp in the dunes but it was nice enough today to do it again.
If you drive north on Piney Ridge Road, just before the Ludington State Park, there are multiple places to park your vehicle and go for a walk in the dunes and trees. Today we took the first spot with a sign on it. You have to keep the dogs on a leash, which is fine with me, because Daisy is a runner and Roger tends to bite first and make friends never.
It was really windy out there today! And the sun peeked through the clouds often enough to give me some nice reference photos to work from. This is the one I decided to work from today:
If and when I decide to do this again I may take the path out altogether. I don’t think it really needs it in the picture and then I could really go crazy with the marks for the grasses. It was really beautiful out there today.
Another little sunset painting. I pulled an older photo for this one, from a time before all the new landscaping was put in at the end of US-10 in Ludington.
The new layout means you have a walk a little bit to get to the water, but it’s nicer looking, for sure.
I left the lighthouse out of this one, did you notice? I thought, if I put the lighthouse in there then it’s a lighthouse painting, but if I leave it out then it’s a sunset painting and that’s what I really wanted.
Painting my favorite models walking around the back of our property with me and the dogs. Me and the dogs not included here. Yesterday was my birthday! I had lots of good wishes heaped on my head and two of my kids, Nick and Sam, stopped by to help me celebrate. This is the two of them plus Steve walking past a patch of long golden grasses with the sun getting low in the sky behind them. It was also Steve’s and my anniversary, so extra reason to have cake and ice cream, which we did and that’s partly why we were out walking. We had to walk off the sugar buzz!
Another painting of the beach in Ludington, Michigan. Love snow fence as an element in a painting! It’s so bright and lively in an otherwise pretty dull colored seascape. Some people don’t care for the red slash but I just love the splash of color!
Here are the studies I made of this painting. Each is 3.5×2.5″.
This painting is part of a series I’m doing for the Holiday Artsie Craft Show coming up soon! Read all about it here.
If you’re interested in purchasing this painting, please email me.