Saturday, August 15, 2015

Wisconsin, Long Overdue

Late this past week, I returned from a wonderful painting trip to my home state of Wisconsin. I began my career as an artist over a decade ago, right after my husband and I moved out of Wisconsin to the mid-Atlantic region. I've never been back to my beautiful state to paint until this past week, and what a wonderful week it was.

I traveled with my good friend and fellow artist, Lisa Mitchell, and we spent just shy of one week traversing the Door County peninsula in east central Wisconsin enjoying subjects ranging from farms to rugged Lake Michigan shorelines under the most ideal summer conditions. It's been a busy summer for me with several outdoor art shows, and the opportunity to focus exclusively on painting for an extended period of time was a true treat. That, and sampling the many slices of cherry pie, a regional specialty, made the week magical.

Cave Point, 8 x 8. Thanks to its rugged, rocky cliffs, this is one of the most popular points on the peninsula, and that made painting here a challenge. This initial block-in was early in my workday. I got it mostly completed, but as the day heated up, so did the crowds and I had people teeming around my easel.

For the sake of travel portability, I traveled with my oil painting field kit. It's probably the heaviest I've ever traveled, with one full-size suitcase devoted just to my oil painting gear. But thanks to Southwest Airlines, the bags flew free and intact (hooray!), so it all went as well as possible.

Over the past decade, the art scene in Door County has exploded with a nationally recognized plein air painting event held each July. I don't know whether I'll ever participate in that event in the future, but I was just happy to be back home and enjoying the great scenery.

Lavendar Field, inland, 11 x 14. Did someone say purple? How could I resist this subject in the interior portion of the peninsula.

I worked on a series of small landscape pieces. All of these works are on Belgian linen panels, which offered a great, compact format for painting while on the road. Given my relative newness to the oil medium, I'm slower with my oil painting than I am with my pastel work, so I wasn't able to complete any of these motifs out in the field. But many pieces are close and just require a few refinements in my studio to complete them. In the meantime, I'm sharing a couple of snap shots with you to give you a sense of just how gorgeous this part of our country is. My fall is busy with more outdoor art shows, but stay tuned in the coming months for the completed versions of these works on my web site. Enjoy!