Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Barnes Park, Looking South, Looking North"

"Barnes Park, Looking South" -- plein air field study -- oil on birch panel 8x10" -- Margie Guyot

Photo by Babs Young: view from the shore

Babs Young clambered over the snow and ice to get a closeup of me in action.

This has been the strangest winter.  Unusually warm, with very little snow.  Most days have been dark and gloomy.  With such dreary sights, I haven't felt much like going out plein air painting.  But a few days ago (2/19/12), the sun came out and I thought what the heck!  I'm going down to Barnes Park (in Eastport) and see what the ice looks like. 

I pulled on my Arctic-weight boots and long underwear.  It may be a balmy 40 degrees back at the house, but it can be drastically cooler out on the ice.  That wind can just howl across the ice.  But luckily, it was quite pleasant.  To my left (out of the photo) is a very steep hill, which helped radiate the sun's heat. 

Having grown up in Iowa, the sight of ice pileups on the Great Lakes always amazes me.  After finishing the 8x10" view, looking south towards Traverse City, I gathered up my gear and walked north on the ice a block or two.

All the warm weather affected the snow and ice.  After finishing my second painting of the view looking north, I packed everything up and was making my way back when my left foot fell into a hidden crevass.  Yikes -- it was a struggle to pull out.  It was all I could do to yank my boot out!  I'd gone in up to my knee.  It was a good thing I didn't twist my ankle.  But my painting fell face-down into the snow:

melting snow on "Barnes Park, Looking North"

"Barnes Park, Looking North" -- (repaired) plein air field study on stretched canvas 8x16" -- Margie Guyot

OK, the view is looking more northwest, with the Leelanau Peninsula in the distance.  Northport is right at the tip.  After leaving my snow-covered painting dry overnight in the studio, I was able to repair the damage.  

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