I ran across this field study a few days ago. It was one of the first paintings I’d done after retiring from Ford Motor Wixom Assembly and moving up north. It was my first real blizzard, with about 6″ of snow on the ground already. How could I sit home? Throwing my paints into the car, I took off to Antrim Creek Natural Area, about 3 miles away.
Piled with gear, I hurried down the winding path, recalling a line of a poem I’d read somewhere …”breathing in the cold, crisp air that had flowed through the fur of wolves out on the tundra…” Could anything be better than this? Goodbye, stinky, smelly factory! Stopping at the edge of the hill, I gazed down at the spot where Antrim Creek empties into Lake Michigan.
In theory, the large (and expensive) “art umbrella” would keep the snow off my palette. Well, ha ha. Snow collected on my painting, on my brush, piling up onto my palette, mixing into my paints. If you could get a close look at this painting, you’d see tiny bubbles everywhere, remnants of snowflakes.
All of a sudden — WHOOSH! — the expensive umbrella’s carrying case became airborne, sailing over the hillside, landing in the creek. “Well, I ain’t going after ya!” I yelled.
Painting finished. Oh boy. Had I thought to bring a wet panel carrier? Oh, hell no. I had to hold it carefully between both hands and trudge all the way up the hillside to the car. Then it was back down to the setup, dump out what snow I could, then head down to the shoreline to do painting #2. Ah, but that’s another story…..