Monday, November 9, 2009

My Extended Weekend "Up North"

The past few days I've been having fun "up north." I signed up for a painting workshop at the Peninsula Art School for last Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but left a day early to spend a day with my aunt in Algoma. People sometimes call the small town on the shores of Lake Michigan the "air conditioned city," and in the summer it is almost always cool. I have been visiting there since I was a child, and have a pile of photos from the little harbor. It used to be lined with commercial fishing boats and tar paper fishing shanties. Most of the shanties have been torn down to make room for condominiums, and now there are only two left. This one was refurbished and moved to its prime location near the red lighthouse. I managed to crop out the condos.

After a good visit with my aunt I headed to Fish Creek for my workshop at the Peninsula Art School. My aunt doesn't like coffee, so when I got to Fish Creek Thursday morning I popped into the Blue Horse Cafe and bought a latte. I was charmed by the smiling face in the foam and was sure it was a good omen for the day.

I have always been fascinated with the Mexican celebration of Day of the Dead, and the gallery of the art school had several shrines filled with food, photos, artwork, religious symbols, and these wonderful calaveras (sugar skulls).

The main reason for the trip was the painting workshop, and it turned out to be a winner. The instructor, Shelby Keefe, paints by using an acrylic under painting in complementary colors, then the main part of the painting is done in oils. She demonstrated part of each morning, then we had lots of time to work on our own. She was helpful and encouraging, and I was happy with my first attempts at working this way. Actually I worked all in acrylics, since I didn't have a way to transport wet oils and didn't want to smell them for the entire two hundred mile trip back home. I got mostly finished with three small paintings, which I felt good about since I tend to paint rather slowly.

I hope to post pictures of my finished paintings later this week.


Charlene Brown said...

What a wonderful picture-story about your week-end! Loved all your photos, including the good omen latte (sounds like it worked) and the great-looking start on one of your paintings. Hope it continued to turn out beautifully...

Teri C said...

Wow, it looks fabulous! Can't wait to see your art.