I should really know better. I didn’t need the second beer. I was already losing at pool anyway. And then we got home late and I had to get up early for a meeting this morning. You’d think, at 57, I’d be better at regulating myself. Well, nope, not really.
This painting makes me feel better anyway. That’s a bright spot in my day. I love this scene with the wild and wooly dune grass in the front and the hazy blue bluffs in the background standing over the big lake. This is such a cool place to live. I love it here.
This painting is on ebay as of 9pm tonight. Bidding starts at 99¢.
Steve and I walked the dogs out by Piney Ridge Road in the Ludington State Park. It was windy and kind of cold but we didn’t mind so much. It sure is pretty out there.
At first Steve was worried about what we’d find. Sargent Sands Co. has been mining a lot of sand out in the dunes and we wondered if there’d be anything left of the pretty little lake and dunes but hurray, it was all still there and just as beautiful as when we left it ten years ago.
The dogs stayed busy sniffing deer hoof prints, I took a lot of pictures to use for watercolor studies later. We even saw a couple of other hardy souls out there, metal detecting at the water’s edge.
I love walking around out in the woods and in the dunes. It’s quiet this time of year. You can see forever because there aren’t any leaves out yet. The forest floor is dark with dead leaves. The dune grass is blonde colored and shivering in the wind.
Pines overlooking the little lake behind the dunes.
Steve looks cold, doesn’t he? Daisy is ready to go, as always.
I love the way the wind ruffles the grass on the dunes.
And here are my attempts to capture what I saw today. Meh, but I’m not worrying. They’ll get better as long as I keep practicing.
You can see where the blue and green got away from me. I like the shape of the dune, the trees marching over the crest and the overall composition.
If I cropped it on the left, the composition would be stronger plus I need to work on more than one at a time, if only to give the paint a chance to dry between colors.
I bought some stock photos to use as practice paintings. There’s one of the Big Sable Lighthouse in the Ludington State Park, one of the S.S. Badger, and one of the Ludington Lighthouse. Since I’m going to be there this summer, I thought I’d get some licks in.
I started with Big Sable Lighthouse first because I have some memories associated with it and I thought the black and white form was interesting. As it turned out, what was more interesting to me was the dune grass.
The first one I did based on two small studies plus an additional photo that had more detail of the lighthouse keepers house in front of the actual lighthouse. I was concerned with getting the details correct in this.
The second version I skipped the underpainting altogether and focused on the dune grass in the foreground. I liked the sway of the grass and imagined the wind that was making it twist around. I spent a lot less time on the lighthouse and even hid more of it behind the grass. It was while I was taking a close up photo of this piece that I had kind of an “aha” moment and saw the composition that I didn’t know I wanted until I saw it.
And this is the one that I like best of all three. I don’t know how popular it would be as a representation of the Big Sable Lighthouse and maybe I need to revisit the first one again, find a way to paint it that makes me happy and also is salable. But I feel like I could do this particular painting, no. 3, over and over again and never get tired of it. What do you think?