Sunday, July 20, 2014

Great Lakes Adventure

My family just returned from a two week tour through Michigan and Wisconsin.  We went up through Michigan stopping at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes and Mackinac, and got as far north as Isle Royale.  Isle Royale is a 3 h ferry ride from Copper Harbor, MI on the Keeweenaw Peninsula.  We had flat, flat water on the ride out and then 2-4 foot waves on the ride back.  2-4 feet doesn't sound like much until you're on a ferry--whew baby.

If you haven't clicked through, please do--there are three more paintings.

I took a little plein air kit, and am quite proud of myself--I painted!  I had a sketch book from Strathmore with 400 Series Watercolor paper, which is 140 lb cold press--5.5x8.5 inches.  (48 pages, haven't used them all.)  I could hold it in one hand, or balance it on my lap, and it's hard backed, so fairly easy to use.

I took four tubes of paint--phthalo blue green scale, quinacridone gold, quinacridone violet, and phthalo green.  I shouldn't have taken the green--I really needed a different blue.  Lesson learned.  Two brushes (one round and one flat).  I wrapped the brushes in a couple of hand towels, and stuck the towel bundle and paints in an empty plastic water container.  This is not a good method--my brushes were really getting beaten and bent.  Lesson number two--if I do this, I need something to hold my brushes.

I picked up a small disposable watercolor palette, packed everything in a bag, and was ready.

Here are the best of what I painted.

Top--the view from the Mackinac Mill Creek Campground over Round Island, which is just east of Mackinac Island in Lake Huron.  Looking out over marshy wet areas. It's Lake Huron, but very close to the straits where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet.

Second--same view abstracted.  I must have really liked this one at the time, since it's the only one I made a notation on.

Third--Looking out over Lake Michigan from the beach at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes.

Final--View of Lake Michigan from the Wisconson side, beach at Harrington State Park.