A View of Torch Lake

“A View of Torch Lake” — plein air field study in oil on birch panel 8 x 16″ by Margie Guyot

The clouds were too stunning to hole up inside the studio today, so I HAD to go out plein air painting. My default mode is to cruise along Bennett Hill Road, east of Eastport. This particular scene I’d looked at probably 100 times, but never tried painting it. Until today. It was only 44 degrees and the wind was relentless, so I thought I’d wimp out and sit inside the truck to paint.

OY! Problems! Something wasn’t right. I’d mix a color but when I put it onto the panel, it looked totally wrong. Too dark. Too green. WTF?? I’d toned the panel a pale pink. Then I realized I’d been painting on the wrong side. I was painting on the house-painted side, not the shellacked and toned side. Yes, there is a difference. I wiped it off and stepped out of the truck.

Muttering a few cusses, I set up my easel. Every time I go out painting, I usually forget something. Usually my camera. This time I’d forgotten that, plus a hat and my sun-shade umbrella. So I painted this whole thing with the sun blinding me and cold winds pummeling me. No gloves. My hands were freezing. At least I could see the colors a whole lot better than inside the truck. But hey — those clouds were so wonderful, I just had to paint!

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