Ice at Mackinaw City

“View of the Bridge – February” — plein air field study in oil on birch panel 8×10″ by Margie Guyot

The hardest part about painting along the lake – winter or summer – is getting the horizon line level. That’s because the wind is always howling like a banshee, blowing your arm like a windsock! Alas, here’s my first attempt at painting the ice up in Mackinaw City. That’s the famed Mackinaw Bridge in the back. As my friend Melanie and I painted, we never got to see a view of this that didn’t have people in it. Everybody was hell-bent on climbing up onto that pile of ice and posing for a photo! Fortunately, most plein air painters are very good at ignoring people who stand in our way!

After a bitterly cold week last week, the sun came out and the temperature got up to about 40 degrees. A couple guys were wearing shorts! People were thrilled as the dickens and headed out to clamber all around on the ice.

It’s always so much more fun painting with a friend. You have to admire Melanie Swords (on the right). She worked the night shift, then drove all the way up and painted until 4 this afternoon!

Why drive all that way (1 1/2 hours) and stop at one painting? Here’s my setup for painting #2.
“Ice — Mackinaw City” — plein air field study in oil on birch panel 8 x 16″ by Margie Guyot

This was a lot of fun to do. And kind of maddening, too. The sun was moving fast and the colors were changing by the minute. It needs a few little touch-ups here and there, but I’m pretty happy with it.

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