Monroe Creek – Charlevoix County

“Monroe Creek – Charlevoix County” — plein air field study in oil on birch panel 8 x 16″ by Margie Guyot

I found this beautiful spot on Metz Road, just off M66, over by East Jordan. I’d just dropped off a bunch of paintings at the Portside Art Fair and wanted to try to get in another plein air painting for the Glen Arbor virtual plein air paintout. It was a cloudy morning – not the best condition for plein air painting – but when I looked at this creek, I knew it would be just fine.

I’m always searching for a “wow” sight. If there’s no initial feeling of “wow”, the painting will always be boring (at least, to me). And I’m always looking for an interesting composition. I loved the shapes of the water and the sky. But – could I pull this one off? The bushes and weeds were just a mad tangle! For the first 15 minutes or so, I thought I’d end up wiping this one off. Added 8/07/20 — This painting won “best of show” in the Glen Arbor Plein Air Paintout this year. Good thing I didn’t wipe it out!

My setup. Notice the one brush. I’ve been known to paint all day with one brush. As long as it’s not all frayed out an horrible, one brush will be just fine.

Some old guy came walking by. Hah — old? — he was probably close to my age! We got to talking and I found out he knew a lot about Iowa (where I grew up). And he loved motorcycles and was retired from road construction. He asked if I’d heard all the coyotes yipping a few minutes earlier. Coyotes? No, I’d lost both hearing aids. New ones on order, though. Coyotes apparently don’t find oil painters that tasty. Thank goodness.

I did NOT touch this later back in the studio. My brush was nice and new, so I could flip in all the little leaves & branches when I was standing there. And there’s always the chance of over-working once you’re back in the studio.

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