September 6, 2008

On the Dune Early Afternoon

20" x 20" oil/canvas

Until last year I'd never been to Michigan, but when I finally got there I fell in love. The friend who introduced me lives a hop, skip and jump from the Vasa Trail, a cross-country ski venue in the winter, a labyrinth of walking and biking paths in the summer. While I didn't paint there on my first visit, I did spy a meadow I promised myself I would paint one day. This August I spent many fine hours there. Doing one of my first pieces, a strip of light at the top of meadow intrigued me. Following the path I'd been painting I discovered this dune. I first did a 12" x 12" study beginning around 1:00 p.m. Usually not my favorite time for plein air work, I found a patch of shade that gave me a great vantage point. I loved the study and headed back with a large canvas a week later. around the same time. A somewhat autumnal day, wonderful clouds scudded across the sky. This dune "blowout" on the Vasa Trail whet my appetite for what was to come -- the Sleeping Bear Dunes -- left behind by the glaciers that covered Michigan and points north many thousands of years ago.