Sunsets in winter time are so full of drama! Dark clouds! Orange and yellow reflections! So pretty. I love it here.
Sunset over Sumner Lake
So Steve and I had been kind of racing to get to this place. It was the only state park within striking distance of where we’d started earlier in the day. It had water, a real rarity in New Mexico, and when I’d called earlier to find about about availability the ranger on the phone told me there were a few full hookup sites still available.
Of course, by the time we rolled in, the full hookup sites were all gone, so we moseyed down to the boat launch on the lake to see if there was anything down there. Ended up talking to this grit who was there with his two grandsons. It turned out that all along the lake was open camping, meaning if you could fit your unit in there, you could camp there. We ended up on a little bluff over the water, not too far away from this guy, but far enough that if they wanted to get rowdy, we’d never hear it.
Then we went and sat on a big flat rock by the water with a couple of beers and watched the sun go down. We found that by holding our bottles just so into the wind they “sang” for us. We amused ourselves for quite a while this way, until my hat blew off my head and Steve had to go rescue it. Lovely.
This painting is available in my ebay store. Listings start at $4.99, go for 7 days and include free shipping.
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I love this town, partly because if it even looks like there might be a nice sunset, everyone jumps in their car and heads down to the beach to watch it happen. This painting is a result of noticing the rush to the lake and joining in.
I had to be quick. The good parking spots at the end of US-10 get taken early.
And then, of course, it took three tries to get a painting that I liked. I don’t mind re-doing them when they’re this pretty, though. All those candy colors make me happy.
Here’s a video of my process. Just so you know, there’s a little bit of a lag in the middle where someone came into the studio to chat and I had to stop for a few minutes.
This painting is on ebay as of 9pm tonight. Bidding starts at 99¢.
This study is from a picture I took while driving around downtown Ludington, not sure of the exact year but I know it was probably November. November is when you get the fiery sunsets reflected against heavy clouds rolling in over Lake Michigan. It’s awesome and dramatic, probably why I took the picture in the first place, although back then I wasn’t doing any painting at all. Just taking pictures for some nebulous future time when I’d have leisure to do something with them. Now I know that future time is the same as now time and if you’re going to do something, it’s best to do it now.
Today’s sky painting is the 4th in a series of 21 that I’m doing as a result of a wonderful mini workshop with Karen Margulis.
I remember being on the beach in the late afternoon when I took the picture that this painting is based on. I was there with a few friends and we just didn’t want to leave yet. The sun went down behind us and then the real fireworks started. All the contrails came into high relief against the blue and pink and aqua in the sky. The sand glowed orange. It was wonderful.
I’m looking forward to being back in Michigan, hanging out at the beach for sunsets and then painting them, every one that I can.
Saturday, June 4, 2016 I took a mini workshop called “Paint the Sky” featuring one of my favorite pastel artists, Karen Margulis. (This was offered through First Coast Pastel Society, which is an awesome pastel group, if you’re in the area and looking to paint with a crowd of nice people. Everyone is very supportive and there’s a lot going on. I highly recommend you join them. I’m really going to miss these folks after I move.)
It was very intense because it was very short, but well presented and with a lot of good information. Karen challenged the workshop participants to paint 21 skies in the next 21 days, as a way of starting a new, daily painting habit. I already paint every day (well, almost!) and so I’m not too worried about the habit-forming part of the challenge, but oh, the skies! I can totally do that!
So here’s Sunday’s sky painting. This is a scene based on a photo my son Nick took while we were driving to karate class. I was blown away by the fiery clouds in the sky, handed Nick my camera and yelled, “Shoot! Shoot!” So he did and I found it again while looking through my photos on my computer in search of appropriate subject matter for the workshop.
Even though these luscious sunsets are the result of more pollution in the air, which I hate, I still love the colors! I guess that’s a love-hate relationship. I can live with that.