My family spent a week in South Haven, Michigan last month. For the first time, I packed my French easel, my paints (cadmium red, cobalt blue, cadmium yellow, titanium white, and ivory black), a few canvases, and my painting knives, along with a few other miscellaneous tools, into the car.
When we got there, I was still unsure about whether or not I’d head out to the beach and do some serious (a.k.a. not in my backyard) plein air painting. I was feeling a little nervous about it. A little unsure. But, with a whole afternoon at the beach with my husband at hand, I decided I’d give it a go. Matt loves to just sit and read all afternoon at the beach, but I get bored. I figured painting would make it more enjoyable for me.
So, off we went. I felt like I was on the way to the sixth-grade dance. Like, I really wanted to go, but, like, I could TOTALLY turn around and head home and avoid all that nervous excitement.
Instead of heading home, I painted. I realized: it is just what I do at home, in private, in my studio – but outside, in the sun, on a beautiful beach. How could I pass that up?!
Here is the first of three paintings. This was done on a sunny, warm day with a light breeze but not enough to stir the great Lake Michigan too much. Gentle waves lap at the shore and the greens and blues and violets melt into one another in the distance.